Chevron Nigeria Limited Restarts Escravos Terminal Operations
This is news concerning ChevronTexaco but issued by a ChevronTexaco subsidiary, Chevron Nigeria Ltd., and archived here for record purposes.
LAGOS, April 4, 2003 -- Chevron Nigeria Ltd (CNL) announced today that operations staff and support workers are returning to the Escravos terminal in the Western Niger Delta and a gradual return to production is beginning, following a 12-day shutdown caused by ethnic unrest in the area.
Production at Escravos had been shut-in since March 23 when sporadic violence involving rival ethnic communities and government security forces in the area, which tragically claimed the lives of many people, prompted the company to close the terminal for the first time since it began operations in 1968. Following the shutdown, the company successfully relocated more than 5,000 people, including 3,000 displaced community members, to safe locations.
"The protection of our people is our number one concern and is the sole reason we relocated them from Escravos and shut-in the facility," said Jay Pryor, CNL managing director. "Since the shutdown, we have been monitoring the situation very closely and, along with our industry colleagues, have been in regular discussions with the government to establish the prerequisites for a safe return to our facilities. We have also been developing business resumption plans that cover all aspects of our operations to ensure that when the decision to return was made, we would be ready.
"We have been encouraged by the recent calm in the Western Niger Delta and, after receiving a number of government assurances on security in the area, we now believe that current circumstances allow for the safe return of our workers to Escravos and for us to restart production," added Pryor.
A comprehensive review of CNL's facilities, which had been unmanned since the shutdown began, is being carried out and any necessary repairs are being done to ensure they are safe to resume operating. Initial production is scheduled to increase gradually to a plateau rate of 310,000 barrels of oil per day. Natural gas production is expected to reach 150 million standard cubic feet per day within one week.
The return to production at Escravos also signals the imminent reinstatement of crude supplies to refineries at Warri and Kaduna, which had been impacted by a lack of feedstock, and should help to address the current shortage of petroleum products in Nigeria. Natural gas supplies to the Nigerian Gas Company for power generation will also resume.
No timeframe has been set for a return to full production at Escravos -- a decision on that will be made in due course, based on CNL's ongoing assessment of the security situation in the area.
Updated: April 2003