Nigeria has resorted to using small river vessels to deliver oil

  • Nigeria shifted to river-going tankers for oil transportation due to a damaged oil pipeline. 
  • First Nembe Creek grade shipment loaded on a Suezmax tanker. 
  • River vessels to compensate for decreased flows from the Bonny terminal.

Nigeria has shifted from utilizing the Nembe Creek trunk line (NCTL), a damaged oil pipeline, to employing tiny river-going tankers to deliver part of its oil.

The first shipment of the new Nembe Creek grade was loaded onboard the Maran Orpheus, a million-barrel Suezmax tanker, on October 10 according to tanker tracking data.

As seen in the Nigerian news publication Nairametrics, Nigeria plans to load around 65,000 barrels per day of this new Nembe Creek grade in the upcoming months in an effort to make up for the decreased flows from Bonny.

Nigeria has resorted to employing tiny river watercraft to move the new grade of oil, Nembe Creek, from the Niger River delta to an ocean-going ship stationed off the coast due to the broken pipeline.

Previously, Shell Plc operated the Bonny terminal, where this oil was delivered via the Nembe Creek trunk pipeline. However, since February 2022, this pipeline, which is currently under the control of the Aiteo Group and was formerly able to transport about 150,000 barrels per day, has been idle.

Nonetheless, a different pipeline still delivers oil to the Bonny port. The overall number of shipments from Bonny is impacted by this shift in oil transportation, although Shell’s proportion of Nigerian oil is unchanged because the firm sold the pipeline to Aiteo in 2015.

The Galilean 7, a floating storage offloading vessel, is anchored close to the Brass terminal as part of the new logistical structure, while a different pipeline still supplies oil to the Bonny facility.

It is crucial to keep in mind that utilizing river vessels to carry the oil between Nigeria to Aiteo’s Nembe Creek is substantially more expensive than using pipelines.

The modest depth of the river restricts the size of ships that may go through it; it takes around 24 separate deliveries to load an average oceangoing vessel.


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