Energy giant Chevron Corp has redubbed an oil tanker originally named after U.S. national security advisor Condoleezza Rice, a former board member, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday.

Chevron renamed the tanker the "Altair Voyager" in April after public watchdog groups said its original name highlighted the close ties between the Bush administration and the energy industry, the newspaper said.

A Chevron spokesman told the paper the decision was made "to eliminate the unnecessary attention caused by the vessel's original name." The spokesman would not comment on whether the White House or Rice requested that the oil tanker be renamed.

Rice, a former Stanford University provost, was a Chevron board member from 1991 until January 15, when she resigned after President George W. Bush, a former Texas oilman himself, appointed her as national security advisor.

Chevron's operations in more than 20 countries on six continents also raised questions about possible conflicts of interest for Rice, despite assurances from the White House and Rice that she would recuse herself from any decisions related to the company.

Chevron officials said in April the company has a history of naming vessels after members of Chevron's board, including former Secretary of State George Shultz and the late David Packard, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, the computing and imaging solutions company.

A Chevron spokeswoman said the tanker had been named the "Condoleezza Rice" in 1993.