Vitol books rare Suezmax cargo of petrol headed for Nigeria

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Nigeria’s push to keep its citizens stocked with fuel after shortages and queues popped up across the nation of more than 180 million in early December means close to a million tonnes a month of petrol is being drawn from Europe – including now a rare Suezmax vessel booked by Vitol, Reuters reports.

The Vitol-booked, 115,000-tonne cargo aboard the newly built Sea Icon is sailing to West Africa from the Latvian port of Ventspils, according to Reuters ship tracking and trading sources. It is expected to arrive around Feb. 22, when it will offload its cargo to smaller vessels that can more easily sail into Nigeria’s ports, which cannot accommodate the unusually large, “clean” ship.

The cargo adds to roughly 1 million tonnes that are already booked to sail for Lagos alone from Europe this month, according to industry monitor Genscape. That followed a similar amount loading on that route in January, but compared with just under 500,000 tonnes in November, Genscape data showed. Last month, NNPC cancelled a tender to buy more fuel after prices spiked on the spot market due to its issuance.