State oil firm Nigerian National Petroleum Corp has approved new port taxes and tariffs on imports of oil and gas equipment and materials, triggering complaints from operators over the cost of projects, industry officials said Friday.
Under the new five-year Industry Wide Standard Tariff, NNPC raised by between 15% and 20% charges on cargo handling, use of port facilities, berthing of tug and survey vessels, as well as camp facilities for oil workers at Nigerian ports.
The tariffs and charges are to be collected and managed by Intels Nigeria Ltd. on behalf of NNPC.
"These rates are the highest compared to other ports in Africa and are bound to further increase the cost of oil projects in Nigeria," an official at a western oil company told Platts.
"Intels has increased port handling charges in the country by 600% in the last four years, and it all comes down to the fact that the company is the sole service provider for the oil the industry."
The new tariffs take immediate effect.
The charge for utilizing cargo handling facilities for 250 mt equipment will increase from $56,007 to $105,147.
An NNPC spokesman said a comprehensive review of the port tariff was approved after brad consultation with major oil companies operating in Nigeria.
"All major companies including Shell, Chevron, Total, Agip, Addax and Intels, were signatories to the implementation of the new tariffs, so I don't see any reason for the protest," the spokesman said.
Oil companies are already concerned about the level of taxes and royalties Nigeria imposed on offshore production.
The concerns have added to existing problems over widescale theft, leading to a slump in Nigerian oil production from an average of 2.4 million b/d last year to 2.1 million b/d so far this year; government revenues from the industry in March stood at $3.8 billion compared with $4.6 billion in March 2012.