Nigeria's May production lowest since 2003

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, June 12 -- Violence pulled Nigerian oil production in May to its lowest level since early 2003, according to the International Energy Agency's June Oil Market Report.

IEA estimated average production during the month at 2.01 million b/d, down 245,000 b/d from April.

Production shut-ins in May reached a high of nearly 1 million b/d and averaged more than 800,000 b/d for the month.

IEA estimates Nigerian production capacity at 2.49 million b/d, excluding 545,000 b/d considered long-term shut-in.

During May, the agency said, attacks on offshore vessels and onshore pipelines and pumping stations caused these production cuts:

-- Abiteye field, 55,000 b/d, now restored.

-- Bomu manifold, attacked twice, 170,000 b/d, now restored.

-- Funiwa field, 15,000 b/d, now restored.

-- Akri and Oshi fields, 80,000 b/d, now being restored.

--Nembe pipeline leak, 77,000 b/d, still offline.

-- Okono field offshore, 65,000 b/d, still offline.

-- Tebida field, 40,000 b/d, still offline.

IEA called security of oil industry workers "precarious" and noted that many non-Nigerian service companies have withdrawn from the Niger Delta. It also cited Chevron Corp.'s withdrawal of nonessential offshore workers for a month because of security problems (OGJ Online, May 2, 2007). This month, following political developments seen as potentially disruptive, the UK advised its citizens to leave Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers states.

IEA said workers' unions are considering a strike this month to protest oil price increases and the sale of government stakes in two refineries.

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