nigeria lng terminal shell

Nigeria LNG Exports Delayed Over Tax Dispute

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May 6, 2013

A ship berths near the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas company (NLNG) during an aerial tour by the Royal Dutch Shell company on March 22, 2013. Image (c) REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

reuters logoABUJA, May 6 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports have been delayed after a security agency blocked ships from accessing the Bonny terminal from May 3 to May 5, the state-LNG firm said on Monday.

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) stopped the ships from entering or leaving the 22 million tonnes-a-year terminal because it said Nigeria LNG was not paying its freight levies.

“Nigeria LNG is a law-abiding corporate citizen and pays all its lawful dues and taxes … NLNG’s position had been that it was exempted from the levies,” Nigeria LNG said in a statement.

Access was denied from 1600 GMT on Friday until an unspecified time on Sunday, said Nigeria LNG.

One ship loaded with LNG was prevented from exiting the terminal during the blockade and two ships for loading could not enter, an LNG industry source told Reuters.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation owns 49 percent of Nigeria LNG with Shell holding 25.6 percent, Total 15 percent and Eni 10.4 percent.

Nigeria ships over 250 cargoes of LNG a year, contributing around 7 percent of global supply and accounting for 4 percent of GDP in Africa’s second largest economy, according to NLNG.

Buyers of Nigeria’s LNG include Spain’s Repsol, Italy’s Enel, Britain’s BG Group France’s GDF Suez and Portugal’s Galp.

Nigeria LNG lifted a force majeure – a clause freeing the company from supply obligations due to circumstances outside its control – on exports two weeks ago, initially imposed because of a ruptured pipeline to a Shell gas field.

(c) 2013 Thomson Reuters, Click For Restrictions

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