UPDATE 2-Total declare force majeure on Nigeria Amenam crude

Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:27am EDT

* "Minor fire incident on turbine compressor" on July 11

* Total says evaluating impact on production

* Traders say about 30,000 bpd of oil output affected

(Recasts with Total confirmation, detail)

LONDON, July 16 (Reuters) - Total SA (TOTF.PA) has declared force majeure on cargoes of Nigerian Amenam crude oil loading from the middle of July, the French oil major said on Thursday.

A Total spokeswoman said the force majeure was a result of technical problems and not militant activity that has affected tens of thousands of barrels of Nigerian crude from the Niger Delta this year.

"We can confirm that following a minor fire incident on a turbine compressor on July 11, we declared force majeure on July 13," the spokeswoman said.

"Limited production has restarted and the effective impact on production is currently being evaluated."

Traders said Amenam production was down by about 30,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Amenam was scheduled to load an average of about 153,000 bpd this month and about 118,000 bpd in August, according to shipping programmes.

Attacks by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) have cut around 300,000 bpd of Nigeria's oil output since May and have affected several large crude oil production streams, including Bonny Light, Forcados, Brass River and Escaravos. (Reporting by Christopher Johnson, Joe Brock and Alex Lawler; editing by Peter Blackburn)

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