Bloomberg learned that Nigeria has canceled a two-month old ban on 113 foreign-flagged vessels, preventing them from loading crude or gas from the country.
This was according to a letter from the state oil company obtained by the news agency.
From now on incoming vessels into Nigerian waters must get a “Letter of Comfort” from export terminal operators and buyers of Nigerian crude as a “guarantee that nominated vessels are free and will not be utilized for any illegal activity whatsoever,” said Mele Kyari, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corp.’s group general of crude oil marketing.
The tankers were banned on July 15, just prior to President Muhammadu Buhari’s meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington. Buhari requested American support in tracking down $150b worth of crude that has gone missing.
At least 250,000 barrels of oil are stolen daily in Nigeria, according to the Nigerian President, accusing unidentified former ministers of having a hand in this.
In other news, Reuters reported that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp (NNPC) has set up four new crude swap contracts to replace the ones it cancelled last month.
NNPC’s complaint at the time was that swap deals were “skewed in favour” of Sahara Group, Aiteo Group and NNPC’s trading arm Duke Oil.
About half of the country’s domestic gasoline demand is provided for by these swap deals, which come in the form of offshore processing agreements (OPAs) – a trader takes Nigerian crude to a foreign refinery and returns with the resulting products – or a direct crude-for-product swap.