Seven years after falling out of reckoning in the global oil freighting trade, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), on Tuesday, announced the re-entry of its subsidiary, NIDAS Shipping Services, into the international shipment of crude oil and petroleum products.

This development would see NIDAS enjoy and optimize right of first refusal offer in the NNPC annual crude oil term and Direct-Sale-Direct Purchase (DSDP) agreements with off-takers.

Oil and gas operators have highlighted the success of other nations like Brazil and Malaysia were the shipping arm of their respective oil corporations, Petrobras and Petromas had hundreds of oil vessels, as they lampooned NNPC for its inability to manage a transport arm for the purpose of carrying the nation’s oil.

Under the terms of the deal, the off-takers are obligated to offer the NNPC shipping subsidiary the right of first refusal in freighting of cargoes.

NIDAS’s re-entry, according to NNPC Spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu, was in tandem with the ongoing strategic re-engineering of some NNPC subsidiaries to ensure multiple income streams and value addition to the national oil company, in line with the aspiration of its Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru.

According to Ughamadu, NIDAS, as a first step to regaining its market position, has established a robust chartering and operation desk in its UK office to help the company secure sea-going vessels from spot market to buoy its operations and give it strong competitive edge.

Ughamadu said the company’s presence was already generating some positive traction in the international freight space as global tanker fixture’s report last week acknowledged the chartering of LRI tanker, MV Atlantica Bridge by NIDAS to load jet fuel from El Dekheila Port, Egypt for delivery to Nigeria for Duke Oil.

“The fixture report also captured NIDAS booking of tanker Res Cogitans to load Mercuria’s gasoline cargo for early-November loading from Europe’s ARA (Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp) region to Offshore Lagos.

“The long-term aspiration of the company is to own and operate fleet to secure a significant market share in the global shipping market”, he explained.

Ughamadu added that the development was part of the GMD’s 12 Business Focus Areas (12BUFA) which he unfolded when he took over the leadership of the corporation in 2016.

Incorporated in 2007 as a Joint Venture between NNPC, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Company Limited (DSME), NIDAS is presently a wholly owned subsidiary of the corporation.

Subsequently, a Board of Directors was inaugurated by the GMD with Engr. Henry Ikem Obih, Chief Operating Officer Downstream, as chairman, while Mr. Lawal Sade was appointed Managing Director with mandate to drive the turn-around process and effective re-entry strategy of NIDAS into the international oil shipping business.