LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) Monday declared force majeure on its exports of Nigerian Forcados crude following a leak on the Trans Forcados pipeline.
The declaration follows an earlier leak in September that caused disruptions to production at some Forcados fields and a series of cases of pipeline sabotage that forced the company to declare force majeure on Bonny Light, another grade of Nigerian crude that it produces.
Force majeure is a term in a contract that can be invoked when conditions beyond the control of the company make it impossible for it to fulfill terms to which it originally agreed.
Shell said the latest leak on the Forcados pipeline appeared to have been caused by an explosion on the pipeline.
"The leak was reported 6th October 2011, and a Joint Investigation Team found that it was caused by explosive damage. SPDC is working to repair the pipeline and resume production as quickly as possible," it said in a statement.
Since 2006, armed militants in the volatile Niger Delta have attacked several oil pipelines and kidnapped local and foreign oil workers in the region.
Their activities disrupted oil production and reduced Nigeria's oil output to around 1 million barrels a day, from over 2 million barrels a day.
Since relative peace returned to the Niger Delta after a federal government amnesty for armed militants, several attacks on oil pipelines have been reported in the region, causing concern among international oil companies and the government.
Shell also said Monday that it had now lifted the force majeure on Bonny Light.