July 16, 2024

NMDPRA accuses ExxonMobil, Barumk Gas vessel of illegal lifting of butane from Bonny terminal

Oredola Adeola

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has accused Exxon Mobil of economic sabotage, criminal damage, and theft through the illegal lifting of Butane at the Bonny River with the vessel, marked Barumk Gas (IMO: 9922225) without the regulatory authorisation.


Farouk Ahmed, Chief Executive of the authority, in a letter, made available to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday, stated that the theft of Butane was being done by the vessel Barumk Gas in connivance with an international oil company operating in Nigeria.


EnergyDay’s check showed that the Barumk Gas, LPG Tanker that was built in 2022 (1 year ago). MarineTraffic update showed that the vessel was sailing under the flag of Marshall, to port Tema, Ghana after a voyage of 2 days, 5 hours from port Bonny.


The NMDPRA in the letter, with reference number: NMDPRA/OACE/EXC.14/2023/05, dated June 8, 2023, addressed to the Chief of Defence Staff Defence, Headquarters, Federal Ministry of Defence, Abuja, requested for the arrest of the economic saboteurs.


The letter titled “Economic sabotage, criminal damage and theft through illegal petroleum lifting operations at Bonny River Terminal,” stated that the international oil firm involved in the illicit act was ExxonMobil.



The NMDPRA letter read in part, “The urgent attention of the Chief of Defence Staff is drawn to the illegal petroleum lifting operations taking place at Bonny River Terminal.”


“The vessel Barumk Gas is lifting Butane at Bonny River Terminal without the authorisation or participation of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority which is the agency of government statutorily responsible for regulating operations at the terminal.


“This unlawful action is being facilitated with the active connivance of ExxonMobil, who have illegally destroyed the locks on the sea-line valve, whose keys are in the custody of the authority.


“The actions of ExxonMobil and Barumk Gas constitute economic sabotage, criminal damage and theft of Nigeria’s national resources. You are by this letter kindly requested to urgently prevent the sailing out of Barumk Gas until investigations into the matter are concluded,” the ACE said in the letter.



In a quick response, the International Oil company operatin in Nigeria, denied involvement in any illegal operation at the Bonny terminal, insisting that its activities at the terminal were within the confines of the law.