Abuja, Nigeria | – President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the ban of 113 vessels from engaging in crude oil and gas loading activities within the Nigerian territorial waters.
The president’s order was contained in a memo by Gbenga Komolafe, Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) dated July 15, 2015.
Komolafe in the memo directed all terminals operators to bar the oil tankers from movement within the Nigerian waters until further notice.
Copies of the memo were also sent to the Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources; Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration & Safety Agency, and the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service.
The affected vessels are: Maran Callisto, Overseas Kilimanjaro, Kalamos, Eliza, Humanity, VK Eddie, Scf Shanghai, MV Tenyo; MV Astro Challenge, MV Maran Thetis, MV BW Bauhinia; MV Dream, MV Xin Dan Yag and MV Desim.
Others include: MV Eliza, MV Happines, MV Progress, MV New Harmony; MV Cosgrace Lake, and MV Plata Glory.
The memo listed 27 terminals from which the banned vessels are prohibited to lift Nigerian crude.
The terminals are Escravos, Agbami, Pennington, Escravos LPG FSO, Escravos Gas Terminal, Antan, Okwori, Odudu, Akpo, Brass and Abo.
Others include: Forcados, Bonny, Bonga, Sea Eagle, Qua lboe, Erha, Yoho, Usan, Bonny River Terminal, Okono, Oyo, lma, Okoro, Ukpokiti, Tulja, and Ebok.
No reason was given for the ban Spokesman for the NNPC, Ohi Alegbe did not pick calls or reply to text mesage sent to him for comments on the development.
But an industry source who craved anonymity said some of the embargoed vessels may be connected with cases of crude barges being diverted to terminals in neighbouring countries.
“… It is because of the difference between the amount of crude they loaded and the amount they actually discharged. There is polarity in the volumes reported by those vessels.
At a time some of those stolen crude from Nigeria was being sold in Ghana. There is a smaller terminal called ‘Soft Pond’ in Ghana. There was a time some of those crude were being sold through that terminal, essentially barges that were lifted to the offshore region of Benin, Togo and offloaded into vessels from there” the source said.