• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
businessday logo


Majestic rig operation is legal, says Depthwize

Nigeria’s oil rig falls first time in 8 months as production dips

Depthwize, operator of the oil rig that capsized during an operation for Seplat Energy/NNPCL Joint Venture, says it is operating legally in Nigeria having acquired all the proper certifications.

According to a company statement, since the Majestic oil rig started operations in the Nigerian waterways in 2012, it has been regulated by the Department of Petroleum Resources (now Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission).

“Depthwize is fully up to date with the licences and permits to operate the Majestic and conduct its drilling operations in Nigeria,” the statement read.

This comes after the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) reported the Majestic has been operating without requisite approvals since 2016 hours after it capsized.

“Initial findings have confirmed that the ill-fated Rig is Panama Flagged and has been operating on Nigerian waters since 2016 without requisite approvals from the Agency,” NIMASA said.

However, the indigenous drilling Company has said that its rigs, vessels and barges are legally operated on the Nigerian waterways.

“In addition to the Majestic, Depthwize legally operates a fleet of vessels and barges (marine fleet) that aid our drilling operations in Nigeria, and has all the licences, permits and certifications of NIMASA which is the apex regulatory and promotional maritime authority in Nigeria for the marine fleet,” the company said.

According to the Depthwize, it regretted the serious incident on the Majestic in the early hours of Tuesday, August 15, 2023, on its way to a planned drilling location at Ovhor in Delta State when it capsized.

It was reported that there was one casualty and three missing persons of the hundreds of people on board. According to the company, the rest of the personnel are accounted for and are safe.

“Since the incident, we have maintained a two-pronged approach to our recovery operations, which are search and rescue of all personnel on board and a follow up investigation of the cause of the incident.

“Along with our Client, we are fully complying with our regulators in terms of notices, and we will continue to engage and cooperate with them as they initiate the necessary actions that must be done in fulfilment of the requirements of their oversight responsibilities for our operations,” the company said.

“This is a very difficult period for the company, and our deepest condolences and prayers are with the family of our deceased member and those of the missing crew members.

Read also: The Depthwize Majestic rig (The Majestic)

“We will continue to give priority and attention, at this time, to the ongoing rescue operations with respect to our missing members, and our assurances to their families is that we will employ all our resources in this regard,” the statement read.

The company assured the regulators and the public that it has the right licences and permits to operate as a drilling company in Nigeria, and that it complies with all relevant safety and environmental standards and regulations.

“We reiterate that at the end of our rescue operations, the company will conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the incident and take appropriate measures to prevent the same from reoccurring.

Depthwize Nigeria Limited, (RC 969014) is an indigenous drilling Company, that has been operating in Nigeria since July 29, 2011.