In a letter signed by the Country’s President Muhammadu Buhari, dated July 15th, The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has banned 113 oil tankers from engaging in crude oil/gas loading activities in any of the terminals within the Nigerian territorial waters until further notice. The ban is to take effect immediately. It was observed that the list mostly consisted of Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs), with some ship names being repeated and also included names of vessels that had not been lifting crude oil on Nigerian ports in the past several years .
The reason for such a ban has not been stated in the letter, although there is wide speculation that the underlying reason could be the country’s efforts to curb illegal oil trading, or the ban could be to settle dues, such as port and maritime fees.
There is also some speculation that the ban could affect crude oil prices and will also limit the choice of vessels for procurement.