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ExxonMobil lifts force majeure on Qua Iboe oil terminal

ExxonMobil has lifted a force majeure at multiple oil export terminals in southern Nigeria after workers called off their industrial action, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, 10 days after the Qua Iboe terminal was shut.

The US major was forced to cancel loadings at four export terminals — Erha, Qua Iboe, Usan and Yoho — on April 17 as strikes by unions, including the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), gripped sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest oil exporter.

In a statement, NNPC said the resolution would free up approximately 300,000 b/d of crude and condensate to be exported and that it would help Nigeria reach 1.8 million b/d of crude output by the end of 2023.

ExxonMobil has not publicly commented on the resolution of the force majeure.

Nigeria has the capacity to produce 2.2 million b/d but saw production fall to 1.3 million b/d on average in 2022, with key grades like Forcados, Bonny Light and Brass river forced offline for months due to technical issues.

The resolution should prompt the release of June loading programs for the affected Nigerian crude grades, which had been delayed, trading sources said.

In recent weeks, traders have been struggling to offload Nigerian crude. Meanwhile refiners in China and India, once major customers for West African barrels, have increased purchases of Russia’s cheaper Urals crude since the war in Ukraine.

Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, last assessed Qua Iboe crude at a $0.20/b discount to Dated Brent on April 26.

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