Nigeria LNG declares force majeure after pipeline damage

Friday, October 05, 2012

London (Platts)--5Oct2012/128 pm EDT/1728 GMT (Adds shipping data in paragraphs 8, 9 10)

Nigeria's NLNG has declared force majeure on its LNG exports after fire damaged a Shell-operated oil and gas pipeline when thieves attempted to steal crude from the line, a Shell spokesman said Friday.

Shell, one of the partners in Nigeria LNG, has also declared force majeure on its own natural gas supplies to the LNG joint venture because of the damage to the pipeline, spokesman Jonathon French said.

"It was an attempt to steal crude from the pipeline," French said.

The fire halted an estimated 150,000 b/d of Bonny Light crude production.

The damaged 28-inch Bomu Bonny Trunkline is used to carry crude to the Bonny Terminal and natural gas to NLNG's liquefaction plant on Bonny Island.

Shell has declined to comment on whether force majeure has also been declared on Bonny crude exports or give details of the status of repairs to the pipeline.

Nigerian LNG is shipped to buyers in Europe and the US both on long-term contracts and as spot cargoes.

According to shipping data from Bentek Energy, a unit of Platts, there are around six LNG tankers near the LNG plant.

"We right now see the LNG Borno, LNG Port Harcourt, LNG Benue, Golar Viking close to Bonny, with the LNG Ogun and LNG River Niger also within two days or arriving to the terminal," said Javier Diaz, LNG analyst at Bentek.

The last LNG cargo loaded at the plant Wednesday onto the LNG Finima tanker, Bentek said.

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