UK-based Gibson Shipbrokers believes crude tanker trades are due for a big change as Nigeria prepares to operate Africa's biggest oil refinery.

The West African crude exporter could become an importer, hitting suezmax trades in the region, but potentially increasing tonne-miles for trips into Europe, India and South Africa as they seek alternative sources of cargoes.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Co (NNPC) intends to take a 20% stake in the $18bn Dangote refinery and has said it will supply at least 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude to the 650,000-bpd refinery.