Published On: Mon, Aug 21st, 2023

Oil Rig Mishap: Not Yet Uhuru For Seplat, Three Crew Still Missing, Drilling Rig Operating Illegally


LAGOS AUGUST 21ST (URHOBOTODAY)-An indigenous oil giant, Seplat is yet to heave a sigh of relief from the disaster that struck its hired drilling rig which collapsed in Delta State, leaving one dead and three crew members missing, who are yet to be found five days after the tragic incident.

Findings on the disaster revealed that the missing persons have not been found and Seplat’s Director, External Affairs and Sustainability, Seplat Energy Plc, Chioma Afe, confirmed it in an update.

This is even as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) alleged that the drilling rig has been operating illegally on Nigerian waters since 2016.

But the company immediately counters the statement, denying it owned the facility.

It stated: “Contrary to some media reports, the Majestic rig is owned by Depthwize Nigeria Limited and not Seplat. As stated in our previous announcement, the rig was in transit to its next drill location at Ovhor. Seplat is the operator of OMLs 4, 38 & 41 on behalf of the NNPCEPL/SEPLAT Joint Venture.

“Seplat Energy alongside Depthwize is continuing the search for the three missing crew members. Divers and other emergency services are on-site, and as of 9 am, the missing crew members remain unaccounted for.

“Of the other 92 crew members, 10 were admitted to hospital and stayed overnight. We are pleased to say the 10 crew members have all now been discharged from the hospital.

“Seplat continues to support Depthwize with the emergency response and rescue efforts continue, with the priority being the search and rescue of the three missing crew members.

“Depthwize has notified Seplat that the single recorded fatality was a British national. Depthwize has informed the families of the deceased and the three missing crew members.

“Seplat has notified the authorities of the incident and continues to comply with all regulatory requirements,” it stated.

Meanwhile, NIMASA had said that the drilling rig that capsized at Ovhor in Warri, Delta State has been operating on Nigerian waters since 2016 without requisite approvals.

Assistant Director, Public Relations, NIMASA, Edward Osagie, in a statement, said that the agency has dispatched a team of search, rescue and marine accident investigation officers to the scene of the incident.

According to the NIMASA: “In line with its mandate, which includes safe shipping and cleaner oceans, a team comprising of search and rescue and marine accident investigation officers have been dispatched to the scene of the incident involving the Majestic Rig belonging to Depthwize Nigeria Limited, which capsized at Ovhor in Warri, Delta.

“Initial findings have confirmed that the ill-fated rig is Panama-Flagged and has been operating on Nigerian waters since 2016 without requisite approvals from the agency,” he stated.

The Guardian-Nigeria

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