Security threats to Nigerian Delta supplies, Shell FPSO

The deteriorating security environment in Nigeria's oil fields has resulted in disruptions to around 40% of oil production in the western Niger Delta and has threatened future exploration and the security of an offshore production vessel.

Persistent threats have forced Shell to take the extraordinary step of placing a full page advertisement in the Nigerian Press warning criminal elements that it was aware of plans to attack its Sea Eagle FPSO located in the EA Field.

The facility has a storage capacity of 1.4 million barrels and is designed to process 170,000 barrels per day of gross liquid and 100 million standard cubic feet per day of gas. The attackers are claiming that the company has not employed enough local labour.

Contract drilling company Transocean Inc. is waiting to see the impact of court injunctions ordering 100 workers off four of its drilling rigs. The workers, members of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), have halted operations on the rigs to protest against disciplinary proceedings being taken against five other personnel belonging to NUPENG, who have since been terminated.

The company says it cannot predict the possible length of the strike if the injunctions are ineffective.

ChevronTexaco has only just lifted the force majeure it declared on Nigerian crude oil exports as a result of violence in the delta. However, production has only been revived to a plateau rate of 310,000 barrels per day and the company has set no time frame for restoring full production while an assessment of the security situation in the area is pending.