A seeming reprieve came the way of Nigeria last week when the Nigerian branch of Royal Dutch Shell announced the lifting of force majeure on exports of Bonny Light crude oil.

In a statement on Thursday, 7 July, Shell said the decision was based on the restoration of oil production at the Bonny Terminal after repairs were carried out on the Nembe Creek Trunk Line.The Nembe pipeline has a capacity of 150,000 barrels per day, according to Shell.

The oil company cited a leak in the Nembe pipeline for its declaration in May following attacks on the terminal by some militants operating in the region. However, Forcados and Brass River, two other Nigerian crude oil grades remain under force majeure owing to destruction.

The Niger Delta militants have continued to attack oil installations in the oil rich Niger Delta region. Among other demands, the warring militants want the federal government to allow the host communities to have control over their resources and pay taxes  to the government.

They are also angry that majority of the oil blocks in the region are owned by Northerners, where president Muhammadu Buhari is from. The militants added that the present government has marginalized them. The attacks on the oil facilities caused Nigeria to lose its position as Africa’s largest oil exporter to Angola. Revenue from Oil accounts for about 70 percent of the federal government’s income.

Maureen Nzeogu
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