Inability to pay $15.3m port charges leads to seizure of Oando’s oil rigs

Court arrests Oando’s oil rigs over N4.7bn debt 


By Jite Eriabie 

A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has ordered the arrest and detention of three crude oil drilling rigs belonging to Oando Energy Services Limited (also known as OES Energy Services Limited) over debts of US$15,399,524.84 (equivalent of N4.7 billion) and N14,169,164.80.

The arrest and detention order for the three drilling rigs named OES TEAMWORK, OES INTEGRITY AND OES PASSION was made by the Court’s Vacation Judge, Justice J.K. Omotosho on 17th August 2017.

The Court Order was made consequent upon suit number FHC/PH/CS/102/2017 filed by oil and gas logistics services firm, INTELS Nigeria Limited against the three drilling rigs as 1st to 3rd Defendants; Oando Energy Services Limited, Oando Marketing PLC and Oando Plc as 4th to 6th Defendants respectively.

The court ordered the three drilling rigs, moored at the Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT), Onne Port Complex in Onne, Rivers State, to be detained pending the provision of a sufficient and acceptable bank guarantee from either the United Bank for Africa PLC (UBA), Guaranty Trust Bank PLC (GTB), Zenith Bank PLC (ZBN) or First Bank of Nigeria PLC (FBN) by the Defendants to cover the debt of US$15,399,524.84 and N14,169,164.80.

The amount is owed by Oando Energy Services Limited for general port and facilities services provided at the port for the three rigs over an extended period of time.

Justice Omotosho fixed further hearing in the matter for 30th August 2017.

Oando PLC is currently being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over alleged malpractices in the company’s financial statements.

The investigation was reported to have been triggered by a petition filed by some investors following the $1.65 billion paid by Oando PLC for the acquisition of the oil production assets of ConocoPhilips in 2014.

The company said it was cooperating with SEC in the discharge of its duties as the capital markets regulator.