By Dulue Mbachu
(Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it has restored output at its Forcados crude export terminal in Nigeria, which was shut because of disruptions by armed groups in the southern Niger River delta.
“We’ve been able to restore production to the level we were before,” Mutiu Sunmonu, head of Shell companies in Nigeria, said in an interview in Lagos yesterday. “We’re beginning to see an upward swing in production because of the peace returning to the delta.”
He didn’t give current output figures. The Forcados terminal normally has capacity for about 400,000 barrels a day.
Attacks by armed groups in the delta, home to Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, cut the country’s output by more than 28 percent between 2006 and 2009, according to Bloomberg data. Nigeria, which vies with Angola as Africa’s top producer, is the fifth-biggest source of U.S. oil imports.
Rebel attacks on the energy industry have dropped since thousands of fighters accepted a government amnesty last year and agreed to disarm. Nigeria’s oil production rose to almost 2.1 million barrels a day last month from 1.75 million barrels a day in July 2009, according to Bloomberg data.
Shell is the operator of a joint venture in which the state oil company Nigeria National Petroleum Corp. holds a 55 percent stake. Shell holds a 30 percent interest, followed by Total SA with 10 percent and Eni SpA with 5 percent.
--Editors: John Buckley, Raj Rajendran
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