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Seplat Denies Ownership of Capsized Oil Rig in Delta State

British national dies in mishap as three other crewmen go missing.

Following the revelation by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) that the Majestic oil rig which capsized in Delta State had been operating on the country’s waters illegally since 2016, Seplat Energy has denied ownership of the oil rig.
Seplat in an update issued on Thursday, in furtherance of its previous announcement regarding the incident involving the Majestic rig, explained that the facility was owned by its contractor, Depthwize Nigeria Limited.
The company has also disclosed that the single recorded fatality in the incident was a British national.
The independent oil producer had in a statement on Tuesday, confirmed the death of one person, the missing of three crew members and the rescue of 92 others after its oil drilling rig ‘Majestic’ was involved in an incident in Ovhor in Okpe, Delta State.
“Seplat Energy regrets to announce a serious incident on the Depthwise swamp drilling rig ‘Majestic’ in the early hours of this morning. Seplat as the operator of the Seplat/NNPC joint venture contracted the rig.
“It was in transit to its planned drilling location at Ovhor in Delta State when it capsized. 92 of the 96-member crew are accounted for and safe,” the company had stated.
However, NIMASA in a statement issued on Wednesday, revealed that the Majestic Oil Rig had been operating on the Nigerian waters since 2016 without the necessary approvals by the agency.
But reacting to NIMASA’s statement and media reports suggesting that Seplat Energy was the owner of the rig, the company in an update on Thursday, explained that the Majestic oil rig belonged to its contractor, Depthwize Nigeria Limited.
Seplat’s latest statement read, “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 3 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 hospital. Seplat continues to support Depthwize with the emergency response and rescue efforts continue, with the priority being the search and rescue of the 3 missing crew members. 
“Depthwize has notified Seplat that the single recorded fatality was a British national. The families of the deceased and the 3 missing crew members have been informed by Depthwize. 
“Seplat has notified the authorities of the incident and continues to comply with all regulatory requirements.”

Peter Uzoho

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