April 16, 2024

Seplat Energy confirms British national as sole fatality, denies ownership of capsized rig in Delta State

Depthwize capsized rig in Delta State


Oredola Adeola


Seplat Energy has confirmed that the single recorded fatality on the capsized Depthwize Majestic rig near Ovhor, Delta State on Tuesday, August 15, is a British national and therefore, denied ownership of the facility in response to the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Administration (NIMASA) claim that the rig operated without regulatory approvals.



Seplat made this known in a statement obtained by EnergyDay on Thursday while providing further updates on the tragic incident involving the Depthwize Majestic rig.


According to the leading Nigerian Exploration and Production company, as previously announced, the rig was in transit to its next drill location at MLSs 4, 38, and 41, operated by Seplat on behalf of the NNPCEPL/SEPLAT Joint Venture.


Seplat Energy further emphasised that it is continuing the search for the 3 missing crew members, in conjunction with Depthwize.


It said, “Divers and other emergency services are on site, and as of 9 am on Thursday, the missing crew members remained unaccounted for. Out of the other 92 crew members, 10 were admitted to the hospital and stayed overnight, we are pleased to say that they have all now been discharged.


“We shall continue to support Depthwize with emergency response and rescue efforts, with the priority being the search and rescue of the 3 missing crew members.


Seplat further claimed that it has received notice from Depthwize, that the families of the British national who was the single recorded fatality and the three other missing crew members have been informed after the incident.


The company therefore noted that while the search operation is ongoing, it will continue to comply with regulatory requirements, adding that it has officially notified the authorities about the incident.


Earlier, NIMASA, saddled with the duties of ensuring that the country’s waterways are safe for shipping and remains cleaner, claimed that it has sent search, rescue and investigation teams to the site of the rig collapse.


It said, “The interim findings of the investigations confirmed that the ill-fated rig is Panama-flagged and has been operating on Nigerian waters since 2016 without requisite approvals from the NIMASA.


“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 incident within 24 hours in line with the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act 2007,” NIMASA said in a statement.