The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has alleged that the ill-fated Majestic Rig owned by Depthwize Nigeria Limited, which capsized at Ovhor in Warri, Delta State, had been operating without proper approval on Nigerian waters since 2016.
The ABS Classed inland Water Drilling 232 feet-long Barge, with a rated drilling depth of 30,000 feet, collapsed during towing from N04, 30:34 /E00543:57 enroute to Ovhor 21, a SEPLAT Oil field in Delta State.
In a statement by Edward Osagie, NIMASA’s Assistant Director of Public Relations, the agency stated, “Initial findings confirm that the ill-fated Rig is Panama Flagged and has been operating on Nigerian waters since 2016 without necessary approvals from the Agency.”
NIMASA has engaged with Clean Nigerian Associate, a conglomerate of International Oil Companies (IOCs) responsible for cleaning Tier 2 oil spills, to assess the spillage level at the accident site.
Also, the agency communicated with officials from SEPLAT Energy Limited, the charterers of the rig, who are required to report the incident within 24 hours as per the Merchant Shipping Act 2007 provisions.
Recall that the Seplat Energy Rig accident involving the Majestic Rig led to the tragic deaths of at least three Nigerian oil workers and a British expatriate.
The rig, newly acquired and operated by SEPLAT/NNPCL joint venture, capsized with 96 crew members aboard.
Seplat Energy Plc’s management released a statement, revealing that out of the 96-member crew, 92 are safe.
Unfortunately, one fatality occurred during the incident, while three other rig personnel remain missing.
Seplat Energy holds a 45% working interest in OMLs 4, 38, and 41, located in Edo (OML 4) and Delta (OMLs 38 and 41) States onshore Nigeria.
As the operator, Seplat Energy manages day-to-day operations, sets production goals, and leads exploration and appraisal activities, pending partner approval.
Production primarily comes from seven fields, including Amukpe, Oben, Okporhuru, Ovhor, Orogho, Sapele, and Sapele Shallow, with plans to bring additional fields online in the future.