Royal Dutch Shell and Italian energy giant Eni have both declared force majeure on key oil flows from Nigeria, threatening to disrupt supplies in a market that’s already fretting about the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Shell’s measure has been in place since March 3 and applies to its Bonny export program. Eni relates to Brass crude cargoes and follows a pipeline blast in the Bayelsa state. Force majeure is a legal step that allows companies not to meet contractual obligations for reasons that are out of their control.
The two Nigerian grades – Bonny Light and Brass River – were part of a shipment programme of 170,000 barrels of crude per day for April even though they have seen a continuous for years, Bloomberg said, citing loading plans.
Meanwhile, thousands of Nigerian travelers have been left stranded at airports throughout the country because of a massive fuel shortage. Motorists have also been forced to abandon their cars or pay more to public transport operators following a hike in petrol and diesel prices.
Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer and exporter but the West African country is forced to depend almost entirely on fuel imports because of its inability to refine most of its oil for use at home.