A fully loaded liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker grounded off Nigeria last week may siphon its cargo to another ship after tugs failed to pull it free, owner Teekay LNG Partners said on Tuesday.
The Magellan Spirit tanker, carrying a full load of 165,000 cubic metres, became grounded in soft mud on Jan. 5 trying to leave the Bonny Island LNG export plant, spokesman Jonathan Anthony said in a statement.
"Expert advisers are presently on location considering next steps, such as lightening the vessel by way of a ship-to-ship transfer of a part of the cargo, which could occur as early as next week," he said.
The Magellan Spirit is not expected to disrupt inbound or outbound tanker traffic from Bonny Island as it was not blocking the shipping channel, traders said on Monday.
The Danish-flagged tanker was en route to unload at South Korea's Gwangyang LNG terminal, according to Thomson Reuters live ship-tracking data. South Korea is one of the world's top LNG importers.
Anthony said the crew and tanker are safe.
The cargo is owned by trading house Vitol, according to traders. It was to mark Vitol's first delivery under a 10-year, 0.4 million tonne per annum supply deal to South Korea's Midland Power Co Ltd, two industry sources said.
The supply deal, agreed in 2012, was to begin this year with the first cargo arrival due at the end of January.
(Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic in Milan; Editing by Jason Neely and David Holmes)