Nigeria has introduced a new crude oil grade to the international oil markets with the exports of two cargoes of Nembe Crude Oil from the new Nembe Crude Oil Export Terminal (NCOET), NNPC Ltd said. The two initial cargoes of 950,000 barrels each have been exported to France and the Netherlands.
Nembe crude is produced from onshore OML 29, operated by the NNPC/Aiteo Eastern E&P joint venture. Oil was previously exported via the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) to Shell’s Bonny Oil Terminal. However, recurrent crude theft and pipeline vandalism have made the export route unavailable for months, severely curtailing production from OML 29.
The unreliability of the pipeline has also affected Newcross E&P (OML 24), Eroton E&P (OML 18) and BelamOil (OML 55) who all rely on NCTL to access the Bonny Oil Terminal.
Nembe crude has a low sulphur content and low carbon footprint due to flare gas elimination, NNPC said. This makes the new grade particularly attractive for European buyers. The oil also has an attractive Assay of API 29, which commands a premium to the global Brenth benchmark.
The new export terminal was established following the Nembe Crude Oil Export Terminal, Nembe (Establishment) Order gazette on January 19th, 2021. It relies on the 2 million barrels Galilean 7 floating, storage and offloading (FSO) vessel able to export some 3.6 million barrels of oil every month. The FSO was converted from a crude oil tanker at the Dung Quat Shipyard in Vietnam.
Several alternative crude oil evacuation systems have been put in place by operators who used to rely on the Nembe Creek Trunk Line. Newcross E&P put in place the MB Bryanston shuttle tanker with a storage capacity of some 800,000 barrels. Along with nearby producers, the company has been barging crude from OML 24 to the vessel before sending oil to the Bonny Oil Terminal for exports.
Last month, Century Energy Services Ltd (CESL) also announced the completion of spread mooring installation at another 2 million barrels FSO, the ELI Akaso. The unit is owned by Energy Link Infrastructure Limited and will help debottleneck production from OML 18.