Nigeria’s state oil company NNPC has banned 113 oil tankers from the country’s waters in an effort to crack down on illegal crude oil trading.
A letter circulated by NNPC cited a directive from President Muhammadu Buhari.
The vessels, which include mainly VLCC crude oil tankers, are banned from calling at Nigerian crude oil terminals and also from Nigerian waters.
The letter states that the directive, which takes effect immediately, will be “pending a notice to the contrary by government.” The letter was dated 15 July.
The list includes several tankers that have recently called at Nigerian crude oil ports, but also those that have not for years, traders said.
The reason for the ban was not stated in the letter, but traders said it was an effort to crack down on illegal crude oil trading.
According to the statement signed by Gbenga Komolafe, Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, NNPC, stated that the tankers were banned from entering Nigerian oil facilities and territorial waters.
Reacting to the ban, a Nigerian crude oil trader said; ”We suspect it is part of a fallout from the level of scrutiny that NNPC is currently under”.
It was learnt that the ban, which is indefinite won’t be lifted unless the NNPC receives a notice to the contrary from the Federal Government.