ABUJA: Nigeria’s crude oil exports are expected to slip to 1.72 million barrels per day (bpd) in October, loading programmes showed on Friday. While some cargoes would likely be added, the current plan stands at a five-month low, and was expected to remain slightly below September’s loadings of 1.88 million bpd. August’s exports had been on track to exceed 2 million bpd, a 17-month high, but the closure of both of the export pipelines for Bonny Light crude pulled them lower. The final schedule also included roughly 1.88 million bpd. Shell’s lifted its latest force majeure declaration on Bonny Light early this week, meaning all the nation’s export grades are again free of restriction.
Nigeria’s oil output has rebounded this year, aided by concerted government efforts to placate militants in the restive Niger Delta region where the bulk of the nation’s crude is produced, but it has struggled to maintain peak output levels. Theft from the nation’s oil pipelines in the Delta region leads to frequent shutdowns, limiting output. Additionally, unrest still threatens some oil infrastructure despite the government’s efforts. Three cargoes of Akpo condensate, with 97,000 bpd, are also set to load in October, compared with four cargoes of 133,000 bpd in September.