Source: Trade Winds News
September 10th 2015
According to a letter from the country’s state oil company, seen by Bloomberg, owners of foreign-flagged ships must now seek a “letter of comfort” from export terminals.
This is aimed at ensuring tankers are “free” and will not be used for any illegal activity, Nigeria National Petroleum Corp’s (NNPC) head of crude marketing Mele Kyari wrote.
Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari has said at least 250,000 barrels of oil are stolen every day in the country.
Another source with knowledge of the matter told TradeWinds the president has ordered a review of the activities of all the vessels involved to identify whether they have been involved in any illegal operations in Nigeria’s waters.
The ban was implemented on 15 July, but confusion has since reigned over which vessels were on the list.
Reports at the time suggested the move was a result of commercial dispute between NNPC and traders, related to differences between loading and discharge figures.
Tanker owners association Intertanko issued a strong protest and has said as many as 49 vessels owned by its members may have been affected.