Analysts are predicting that Angola will soon overtake Nigeria as Africa’s top exporter if the current spate of vandalism of vital oil pipelines continues unabated. The prediction comes after news report revealed that crude oil exports have dwindled to its lowest since 2011.
According to the report, Nigeria’s exports for May are set to drop to about 1.59 million barrels per day (bpd). At its peak in 2011, Nigeria was able to attain a 2.2 million bpd.
Currently, Forcados grades have been deferred after the pipeline supplying oil from the oil fields in that region was hit by a pipeline leak. Although the militant group, MEND, claimed responsibility for the damage, Shell said it was shut after it was discovered that the pipeline had been breached by unknown persons who were siphoning crude oil from the pipeline in a water depth of over eight meters.
The current force majeure declaration by Shell is the latest in a series, which the company says is losing the nation $7 billion a year.
The grossly ill- equipped joint task force set up by the federal government to deal with the problem is powerless to put a stop to the problem, which the Shell country manager, Mutiu Sunmonu, has described as a fight against “princes and principalities.”