Forte Oil Plc has clarified that it has no contract with a petrol vessel, which was detained by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) over alleged non-payment of relevant fees to the federal government.
A vessel, ‘MT Histria,’ which brought in 25,435 metric tonnes of petrol to the country was detained by the NCS after it berthed and discharged its product for a major marketer, which was erroneously identified as Forte Oil.
But the company said in a clarification wednesday that it did not receive any product from the vessel as it has no contract with it.
The company further stated that it has a robust compliance system and ensures that its transactions with vendors and other suppliers comply with all international and local regulations.
Further investigation however revealed that the said vessel actually brought in petrol for another major marketer and was detained for 15 days after discharging its product.
The detention of the vessel had prevented another vessel, MT Gaz Providence,’ laden with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), better known as cooking gas, brought into Lagos by the Nigeria LNG Limited from berthing at the North Oil Jetty (NOJ) at Apapa, which is dedicated for LPG vessel.
The incident had caused panic for cooking gas marketers as major gas plants had exhausted their product and were waiting for the cooking gas vessel to discharge.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has three jetties that constitute the Apapa Jetty – Petroleum Wharf (PWA); BOP and NOJ – all used by vessels to discharge petroleum products.
However, it was learnt that only NOJ has facilities for the discharge of cooking gas and this has created logistics challenges for LPG vessels.
“Of all the berthing space in Apapa Jetty, NOJ is the most strategic because it is the dedicated berthing space for LPG, base oil and kerosene. Petrol vessels also berth at NOJ during period of fuel scarcity. But other jetties are used for berthing of only petrol vessels,” one LPG marketer told THISDAY at the weekend.