Sustained attacks on pipelines by Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) have led to the daily loss of 140,000 barrels of crude from oil fields operated in Bayelsa State by Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and Aiteo Oil, it was learnt yesterday.
Using $48 per barrel price benchmark, the two oil firms are losing an estimated $6.72m (about N1.3 billion).
Eni, an Italian energy firm and parent company of Agip, said the oil firm’s production had been cut by 65,000 barrels per day following last Friday’s attack on its pipeline in Bayelsa.
Previous attacks in Agip oilfield on May 18 and May 24 were said to have resulted in a shutdown of some 5,200 barrels of the company’s equity share of oil output.
A company source, who pleaded for anonymity, confirmed the development yesterday.
The source said: “The total deferred production due to the attack is 65,000 barrels of oil equivalent daily. There is no further impact on production, since all production from the swamp area has already been stopped days ago.”
Spokesman of Aiteo – operator of the Nembe Creek trunkline – which was attacked on May 28, Mr. Shola Omole, said the line which conveys crude to Bonny export terminal had been shut.
Omole said some 75,000 barrels daily production had been deferred as the line remained out of service following the attack on the facility.
Figures from Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) could not be obtained, but the Dutch oil firm has placed its oil exports from Bonny export terminal under force majeure.
Force Majeure is a legal clause that frees a company from liabilities arising from its inability to meet contractual obligations due to reasons beyond its control.
SPDC in 2014, sold the 100-kilometre Nembe Creek trunkline to Aiteo, but still relies on the line to lift crude produced from onshore oilfields in Bayelsa to the Bonny terminal in Rivers State.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, was quoted as saying that Nigeria was producing 1.6 million barrels per day, excluding further production outages due to attack on Agip, Chevron and Shell at the weekend.
The development will likely affect the implementation of the N6.07 trillion 2016 budget premised on a daily crude oil production of 2.2 million barrels.
The Niger Delta Avengers, the group which has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks, has rejected dialogue with the Federal Government, demanding instead a Niger Delta Republic.
But the Federal Government, which has delpoyed troops in the creeks has vowed to deal with the militants. It has deployed attack aircraft, and naval war boats in the region.