UPDATE 1-Nigeria's Bonga crude exports delayed by 4-5 days

Thu Mar 7, 2013 9:38am EST

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GENEVA, March 7 (Reuters) - Nigerian oil shipments from the Shell-operated 200,000 barrel per day (bpd) Bonga field are facing delays of up to five days, oil traders said on Thursday, adding to supply disruptions in the top African producer.

The reason for the delays at the offshore facility was unclear, with one trader saying it was taking longer to fill tankers because of lower-than-expected production.

Shell said there were no production issues at the field, but did not comment on the loading delays.

The Bonga stream, one of Nigeria's largest, was originally due to load six cargoes in April but one of these has now been deferred to May and others have been issued with revised loading dates, one trader said.

A second trader with direct knowledge of Bonga exports said that the stream was subject to delays of several days in April.

Exports from OPEC member Nigeria have been frequently disrupted in recent months due to pipeline leaks and floods. The country typically exports around 2 million-2.2 million bpd.

Shell confirmed on Thursday that one of the country's other key export grades Bonny Light is still subject to force majeure following a pipeline leak.

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