The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has said that an oil rig operated by Seplat Energy Plc and which capsized at Ovhor in Warri, Delta State on Tuesday was operating illegally since 2016.
The rig, owned by Depthwize Nigeria Limited and chartered by Seplat Energy Plc capsized early Tuesday morning. The oil company said one out of 96 crew members of the ill-fated rig died in the incident, 92 accounted for while three were missing.
In a statement on Wednesday, NIMASA spokesman, Osagie Edward, said the agency had dispatched a team comprising of search and rescue and marine accident investigation officers to the scene of the incident.
The statement reads in part: “Initial findings has confirmed that the ill-fated rig is Panama-flagged and has been operating on Nigerian waters since 2016 without requisite approvals from the agency. The ABS Classed inland water drilling 232 feet-long barge, with a rated drilling depth of 30,000 feet collapsed where it was been towed from N04, 30:34/E00543:57 enroute Ovhor 21 that belongs to Seplat Oil field in Delta State.
“NIMASA has initiated contact with the Clean Nigerian Associate, a conglomerate of all International Oil Companies (IOCs) responsible for the cleaning of Tier 2 oil spill, to establish the level of spillage at the scene of the incident.
“In addition, the agency is in communication with officials of Seplat Energy Limited chatterers of the ill-fated rig who are expected to officially report the incidence within 24 hours in line with the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act 2007. This information is for the public to please take note.”
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