* Shell lifts force majeure on Forcados after Bonny, LNG
* Exxon and ENI force majeures on crude grades still on
LAGOS Nov 29 Shell lifted the last of
three force majeures on its Nigerian oil and gas exports on
Thursday, declaring production restored for Forcados crude
grades, after output was hit by flooding and theft.
But force majeures by ExxonMobil and ENI on
Qua Iboe and Brass River grades, respectively, remain in force.
Oil output has started returning to normal in Africa's top
producer, after a sharp fall owing to multiple production snags.
Nigeria is among the world's top 10 crude oil exporters and
usually ships more than two million barrels per day (bpd), but a
litany of problems, including a major fire caused by oil theft
on a Shell pipeline, an offshore spill by Exxon and severe
flooding have cut output.
A force majeure means an oil company will not be able to
meet contractual obligations on output owing to circumstances
beyond its control.
Shell lifted force majeures on its Bonny Light crude and
supplies to a liquefied natural gas terminal earlier this month.
Forcados was the last crude grade unable to meet the Anglo-Dutch
major's production target.
"I've just been told the FM (force majeure) on Forcados has
been lifted today," Shell spokesman Jonathan French said by
telephone from London.
"There were three in place so now they've all been lifted."
ExxonMobil last week became the fourth oil major in
a month to warn customers over delays to Nigerian exports
because of an oil spill in a shallow water offshore facility
that hurt Qua Iboe production.
Between them, Forcados and Bonny Light represented 17.2
percent of crude oil exports in November compared to 18.8
percent for Qua Iboe.
As well as Exxon's force majeure, another by ENI declared
earlier this month on Brass River oil loadings due to floods
that caused cargo delays of eight to 10 days remains on.
Shell's outages were caused by a fire on an oil tanker being
used to steal oil last month. Oil theft is a major problem in
the swampy Niger Delta, where it is easy to hide boats and
makeshift refineries in thick mangroves. Nigeria estimates
around 150,000 bpd is stolen, much of it shipped abroad.
Total last week restarted production from its 90,000 bpd OML
58 block, which was shut down a month ago due to severe flooding
in the Delta swamplands.
Nigerian exports of Bonny light crude oil will be lower in
January than December, while Forcados are set to be higher
according to loading programmes.