• Sun. May 26th, 2024

NewcrossEP Seeks NUPRC Intervention Amidst Operations Suspension Due To Alleged Illegal Bunkering

…Alleged oil theft vessel MT Prestigious still under Nigerian Navy custody”

On May 6, 2024, Newcross Exploration & Production Limited formally requested the intervention of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) following a suspension of their operations. The suspension came after the IGP Illegal Bunkering Team’s visit to the MT Prestigious on May 2, which is part of NewcrossEP’s oil barging operations in Bonny.

The IGP team, operating under “Operation Tantita,” had alleged involvement of the MT Prestigious in illegal bunkering activities without providing clear evidence. Written testimonies from the vessel’s captain and representatives from Donna Spectre and NewcrossEP asserted that the vessel’s sole purpose was to transport crude to Bonny Terminal SBM3.

Following these allegations, the Nigerian Navy was instructed to halt operations on MT Prestigious WD and MT Montagu pending further investigation. This directive has had significant repercussions, prompting NewcrossEP to underline the urgency of NUPRC’s involvement to ensure due process and mitigate threats to its operations.

The current suspension of operations risks considerable financial impacts, including the halting of over 100,000 barrels per day in crude production, interruptions in gas deliveries essential for both domestic and export markets, and disruptions in terminal operations. These setbacks threaten the operational continuity of various stakeholders dependent on this crude evacuation route.

Victor Sodje, Managing Director of NewcrossEP, emphasized the company’s readiness to cooperate with legal authorities but stressed the critical need for swift action from NUPRC to prevent substantial national economic losses. The formal communication also included notifications to the National Security Advisor, Chief of Defense Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, and the CEO of NNPC Limited, highlighting the broad spectrum of concerns related to the ongoing investigation.

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor is a seasoned journalist and the CEO/Founder Belch Digital Communications, publishers of Hybrid News Nigeria.

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