The company declared force majeure on exports of the grade late last week after a drilling rig damaged a pipeline. Sources told Reuters that the issue cut the company’s production by as much as 250,000 barrels per day (bpd).
Traders said that Exxon is expected to increase production as early as Tuesday and issue a new loading programme later in the week. Traders expect exports to be delayed by about 10 days. Exports of Qua Iboe were scheduled at roughly 306,000 bpd for May.
Nigeria’s oil production has fallen by almost 40 percent to 1.4 million bpd because of militant attacks on pipelines and other facilities. The nation’s oil output has been driven lower after attacks by a group calling itself the Niger Delta Avengers which says it wants a greater share of oil profits and independence for the swampy region where residents have long complained of poverty.
Attacks in the last few weeks have hit platforms belonging to Chevron and Shell.
“Because of the incessant attacks and disruption of production in the Niger Delta, as I talk to you now, we are now producing about 1.4 million barrels per day. We were at 2.2 million bpd but we have lost 800,000 barrels,” Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for Petroleum told the House of Representatives.
The 2016 budget assumes oil production of 2.2 million barrels per day at $38 a barrel.