Export of Nigeria’s Bonny Light crude has been under force majeure since Friday the 20th of September, 2019, following the closure of the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL), the terminal operator, Shell has said.
The force majeure has been in place since Friday morning, following “the shutdown of the NCTL, and a declaration of force majeure by the NCTL operator, Aiteo,” a spokesperson said. Nigeria’s 150,000 b/d Nembe Creek Trunk line, a key oil pipeline connected to the Bonny terminal, has persistently been targeted by militants.
The Bonny terminal gets its crude oil from two pipelines- the NCTL and the Trans Niger pipeline, with flows on the latter line still running, according to trading sources.
A source said the impact of the force majeure will likely be limited, given the terminal was still receiving crude. “Loadings will continue, albeit delay. We have a cargo affected and are awaiting advice from NNPC regarding the cargo delays,” the source said.
“Inevitably, delays now will ripple through the balance of the September and October programs. But my guess is, it will amount to no more than one cargo, perhaps two, pushed from late October into November.” Bonny Light loadings in September and October are scheduled to average 246,667 b/d and 275,807 b/d, respectively, according to S&P Global Platts tracking data.
Bonny Light was assessed at a premium of $1.45/b to Dated Brent on Tuesday, down 10 cents/b from a week ago, according to Platts data. Bonny Light, one of Nigeria’s key export grades, is popular with refiners globally, with production ranging around 250,000 b/d in the past year. It is a light sweet crude, with a gravity of 35.3 API and sulfur content of 0.15%. It was under force majeure earlier this year and three times last year due to pipeline leaks caused by attacks by militants.