Nigeria’s state-run NNPC oil company has carried out measures prohibiting 113 oil tanker vessels from its waters effective immediately, according to a company letter.

President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the ban, as stated in the letter. The reasons for his decision are as of yet unknown.

The letter, which was also obtained by the energy trading information provider that is Platts, said that 113 tanker vessels have been imposed with a ban regarding their engagement in crude oil/gas loading operations in Nigeria’s terminals until further notice.

Gbenga O. Komolafe, NNPC’s crude oil marketing division’s general manager evidently signed the letter, which is dated on July 15th.

Many believe that the move stems from Nigeria’s efforts of curbing illegal oil trading activity, whereas the ban might also be a form of settling dues like port and maritime-related fees.

“We’ve been hearing that it may be related to outturn figures, due to the fact that sometimes there are differences between the loading and the discharge figures, especially when dealing with certain countries,” commented a West African crude oil trader.

The letter comes along with a list of tankers consisting of primarily Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs), with some vessels’ names being mentioned twice along with those of others that have not visited Nigeria’s waters for some time, such as the Huge, the Happiness and the Diona, operated by the NITC Iranian group.


Photo: Manuchar Kakhidze