Gard Alert on Revised Nigerian "Letter of Comfort"
Latest letter from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation regarding banned tankers still vague.
The Nigerian state oil company had banned 113 tankers from territorial waters in a presumed anti-corruption drive.
Norwegian maritime insurer Assuranceforeningen Gard (Gard) Tuesday released an alert over a revised "Letter of Comfort" regarding the banning of tankers in Nigerian waters, which has been issued by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Gard says the revised letter "addresses some earlier concerns" but suggests "problems remain."
Issues cited by Gard include confusion over who is required to sign a Letter of Comfort and what activity would be considered a breach of a Letter of Comfort.
"The Letters of Comfort may go well beyond what Nigerian law would otherwise impose," Gard says, and what owners on the list of banned vessels need to do to remove ships from the list still remains unclear.
Gard recommends that owners of previously banned tankers be "extremely cautious about those vessels calling to Nigeria or sailing to the Nigerian Exclusive Economic Zone."
The provision of a Letter of Comfort has not been made mandatory under the Nigerian law according to the notice; owners refusing a charterer's request "should seek legal advice."
Gard also noted the company is not currently "aware of any fines, penalties, prosecutions or detentions in relation to NNPC directives."
Skangas duel fuel LNG carrier Coral Energy (image credit/Skangas)
Liquified natural gas (LNG) bunker tanker Coralius has made its first trip loading and delivering LNG to and from Norwegian ports, according to trade press reports.
The 5,800 cubic meter capacity tanker, which is owned by Norwegian gas company Skangas, was delivered to the company in June. Skangas also operates LNG carrier Coral Energy.
OPEC Cutback Extension to be Discussed in November, But Developments Could Render Any Deal Meaningless
Analysts say everything from Saudi exploration to rising tensions with North Korea could radically alter the dynamics of the international market. File Image / Pixabay
Ever since the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) extended the duration of its production cuts earlier this year to March of 2018, speculation has been rampant that the meager cutback volume coupled with the large number of members