LOS ANGELES, Jan. 13 -- Royal Dutch Shell PLC declared force majeure concerning oil shipments from Nigeria after the kidnap of several workers and an explosion that ruptured the Trans-Ramos pipeline feeding its Forcados export terminal.
Shell told shippers that oil loading would be delayed 3-4 days beginning Jan. 13 due to the rupture in the pipeline, caused early Jan. 12 by the explosion. The blast—presumed to be sabotage—caused the loss of some 106,000 bbl of oil.
Earlier Shell decided to shut in 120,000 b/d of oil production due to security concerns that followed the kidnapping of four workers. Gunmen in three boats seized the workers Jan. 11 from Shell's EA oil platform.
Security forces in Nigeria said Jan. 13 they had located a boat carrying gunmen and the workers they abducted and would try to rescue the captives.
Shell has been concerned by the upsurge in violence in Nigeria, which accounts for around 10% of its global production.
In October 2005, Ian McCredie, head of global security services at Shell International, said growing risks have forced Shell to make its own security arrangements in areas where local security forces are largely ineffective.
He named Nigeria, where separatist rebels had kidnapped 50-70 Shell employees over the preceding year and diverted an estimated $1 billion/year of oil revenue to the insurgents or corrupt officials (OGJ Online, Oct. 10, 2005).
Contact Eric Watkins at [email protected].