29 September 2015, Lagos – There are strong indications that the federal government’s decision to demand for letters of comfort from vessels lifting crude oil from Nigeria following the reversal of a recent ban on 113 oil tankers, may face a backlash from ship owners as vessels willing to come into the country now charge exorbitant rates.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had in a letter last July conveyed the decision of the corporation to ban 113 vessels, mostly very large crude carriers (VLCCs), from Nigerian loading terminals and territorial waters, citing a directive from President Muhammadu Buhari.
The letter, which was addressed to all operators of the 27 crude oil loading terminals in Nigeria, said the ban took immediate effect. But following the pressure mounted by the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), whose members were mostly affected by the ban, the corporation early this month lifted the ban.
In a letter by NNPC’s Group General Manager in charge of Crude Oil Sales Division, Mr. Mele Kyari, the president approved the consideration of all incoming ships subject to a letter guaranteeing that they were free and will not be used for any illegal activity. The letter added that the president had directed a review of activities of all affected vessels to determine culpability in illegal operations in Nigerian territorial waters.
- This Day