FG moves to legalise oil bunkering operations in Nigeria

The Federal Government has resolved to legalise oil bunkering activities in the oil and gas sector while targeting an annual N250million revenue from licensing, renewals and registration of vessels for the bunkering activities.

The aim is to revive the operations of bunkering businesses in the nation’s coastal waters which has been taken over illegally by most operators.

The Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), George Osahon, who spoke at a sensitisation forum in Lagos, on Wednesday, said operators of bunkering in the country would be licensed by the DPR from this month (January).

He said President Goodluck Jonathan approved the issuance of license to bunkerers as part of his economic agenda, adding that resuscitating bunkering business would create employment activities for Nigerians as well as act as stimulus for growth in other sectors of the economy, including inland ports and waterways.

According to him, “prior to 1979, there was not much records of bunkering activities recorded in the country. In 1979, however, it was introduced as a legitimate business with licences issued by the DPR. This was thwarted in 1984 apparently due to some abuse of the system.”

Osahon said his agency had prepared all guidelines to regulate the business of bunkering in accordance with the provision of the Petroleum Act

Osahon said his agency had prepared all guidelines to regulate the business of bunkering in accordance with the provision of the Petroleum Act 1969.

Among petroleum products recognised by the Act for bunkering activities included Automative Gas Oil (AGO) or diesel, Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) and recently Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

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