The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has revealed that the oil rig that capsized on Tuesday near Ovhor in Warri, Delta State, had been conducting operations on the nation’s waters without proper authorization since 2016.
According to a press release issued by NIMASA’s Head of Public Relations, Osagie Edward, on Wednesday, the Majestic Rig, owned by Depthwize Nigeria Limited, had been in operation since 2016 without obtaining the necessary approvals from the regulatory agency.
In response to the incident, NIMASA has dispatched a team comprising Search and Rescue as well as marine accident investigation officers to the location of the occurrence.
“Aligned with the core responsibilities of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, which encompasses ensuring maritime safety and protecting the marine environment, a team composed of Search and Rescue and marine accident investigation officers has been dispatched to the site where the Majestic Rig, owned by Depthwize Nigeria Limited, capsized near Ovhor in Warri, Delta State.
“Initial findings have verified that the affected Rig bears a Panama flag and has been conducting operations in Nigerian waters since 2016 without obtaining the required authorizations from the Agency.
“The incident involving the ABS-classed inland Water Drilling Barge, which spans 232 feet and possesses a rated drilling depth of 30,000 feet, occurred while it was being towed from N04, 30:34/EE00543:57, en route to Ovhor 21, a site within the SEPLAT Oil Field in Delta State.
“NIMASA has initiated communication with the Clean Nigerian Associate, a collective of all International Oil Companies (IOCs) responsible for addressing Tier 2 oil spills, to assess the extent of spillage at the accident site.
“Furthermore, the Agency is engaged in discussions with officials from SEPLAT Energy Limited, the charterers of the ill-fated rig. These officials are expected to officially report the incident within 24 hours, in accordance with the stipulations outlined in the Merchant Shipping Act of 2007,” the statement read.
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