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Oil Market News – 15th April 2009

Short update on Nigerian situation.  RDSB.LN (Royal Dutch Shell Nigerian joint venture) company has declared “force majeur” on its light crude oil shipments following a pipeline fire.  This declaration was made yesterday at 11.00 GMT by Shell’s local company – Shell Development Co.  Force Majeur protects a supplier from any lawsuits for not meeting deliveries to customers due to actions outside the company’s control.  The most interesting part of the statement was that the force majeur would remain in place for April and May but refused to confirm the amount of oil involved.  The statement also confirmed that the fire had now been extinguished on the Trans-Niger pipeline which normally supplies around 150,000 barrels a day.  The next OPEC meeting is set for 28th May when members are meeting to decide whether any further production cuts are needed.   The oil market now awaits oil inventory figures which are expected to show yet another increase in the stockpile.