Oil

Nigeria’s crude oil exports are expected at 1.836 million bpd in July, compared to 1.835 million bpd in June, after exports of the Forcados grade resumed in late May, according to loading plans that Reuters has compiled.

At the end of May, two Suezmax tankers fully laden with crude oil set sail from the Forcados terminal, according to Platts shipping data, in what appeared to be a tentative resumption of shipments of one of the country’s top export grades that had been offline since October last year.

Forcados was said it would be loading some 250,000 bpd in June, which is more than a tenth of Nigeria’s current output. Forcados’ daily loading capacity is 400,000 barrels.

According to the loading programs compiled by Reuters on Wednesday, Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary SPDC—the operator of the grade—had initially issued a schedule for June Forcados exports of 197,000 bpd, and later increased the June loadings of the grade to 252,000 bpd.

However, just last week, SPDC declared force majeure on exports of the Bonny Light crude following a leak on the Trans Niger Pipeline, and loading plans both this month and next may change, according to Reuters. Bonny Light is still expected to be exported via the other export line, the Nembe Creek Trunk Line, with June loadings planned at 203,000 bpd. The July plans, for now, are for 164,000 bpd of Bonny Light.

The restart of Forcados exports allowed Nigeria to return being the largest oil exporter in Africa, overtaking Angola, which had taken the crown of Africa’s biggest exporter while Nigeria’s oil output was being crippled by militant attacks on oil infrastructure.

According to Reuters, Angola is expected to export 1.55 million bpd in July.

Nigerian crude production increased to 1.68 million bpd, by 174,200 bpd over April¬—the highest level in more than a year—after the restart of Forcados loadings for the first time since October 2016, according to OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report released on Tuesday.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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