Pipeline Surveillance: Itsekiri Stakeholders Fault Blackmail against Olu of Warri, OMS, PINL

Sylvester Idowu in Warri

The Itsekiri Pipeline Surveillance Stakeholders have kicked against alleged clandestine campaign of calumny against Ocean Marine Solutions (OMS), an indigenous private security firm, over the security of the Trans Forcados pipeline that recently recorded over 95 percent Terminal Recovery Factor.

The Stakeholders queried, what they described as the pin drop silence, from the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited, (NNPCL) since January 2024, over the raging controversy surrounding the Trans-Forcados Pipeline (TFP) surveillance contract in Delta State.

Leader of the Stakeholders and representative of Olu of Warri/Liaison to NNPCL, Collins Oritsetimeyin Edema, at a press conference held at Warri, yesterday, urged the NNPCL to speak up, insisting that the Terminal Recovery Factor of the TFP, which was, “at an alarmingly low level of around 35-45 per cent, in 2019 when Ocean Marine Solutions (OMS) was awarded Surveillance and Maintenance services, currently runs at a maximum Terminal Recovery Factor of at least 95 per cent daily.”

He explained that the pipeline surveillance of the TFP begun around 2019, when the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) awarded a contract to Ocean Marine Solutions (OMS) to provide Surveillance and Maintenance services because of emerging threats from third- party interference and weak material integrity of the pipeline, which sadly put the Terminal Recovery Factor of the TFP at an alarmingly low level of around 35- 45 per cent.

Edema, said due to the excellent performance of OMS in the job offshore as affirmed by the International Oil Companies (IOC’s), their scope was extended into onshore/swamp due to emerging threats adding, “OMS took over the TFP in 2019, within the first six months of when OMS came onboard the TFP, with rare display of tenacity, efficiency, and rare camaraderie, they improved the Terminal Recovery Factor from around 35% to between 90 – 100 per cent.

“This rare feat not only drastically improved Nigeria’s crude oil export, but also led to Delta State becoming the number one oil producing state in Nigeria.

“Since 2019, OMS has maintained an effective workforce of over 1,500 community workers in protecting the TFP, aside from other stakeholders/interests, Community Contractors including Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

“Sometime in 2022, it was found out that the Trans-Niger-Pipeline (TNP) and other lines aside from the TFP, were not operational and totally down.

“The NNPCL then decided to replicate the OMS successful TFP model on other crude oil pipelines, by engaging non-state actors”, he said.

Edema, who noted that PINL was not the contractor on the TFP, disclosed that the job was novated to firm by sister Company, Ocean Marine Solutions, observed that there had been a renewed spate of propaganda, falsehood, blackmail, mudslinging, character assassination, and malicious damage by different groups, sponsored against the person of the Olu of Warri, His Majesty Ogiame Atuwatse 111, and Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Limited (PINL) over Pipeline Surveillance Contracts.

“Sometime in the third week of January 2024, a faceless group, the Niger Delta Forum for Truth and Justice (NDFTJ), published an article that cast aspersions on the integrity of the Executive Vice President Upstream of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) – Mrs. Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan over ethnic bias in the renewal of Pipeline Surveillance Contracts.

“It went further to denigrate the Sacred Ancient throne of the Olu of Warri by maligning His Majesty Ogiame Atuwatse III, the Olu of Warri and a company he has vested interest in, Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Limited (PINL), accusing them of incompetence in the Monday May 6, 2024 discharge of their duties.

“This tirade of accusation went on until around March 2024 and cooled off until recently when a new group, Niger Delta Stakeholders Forum (NDSF), came up with another set of lies, falsehood, blackmail, spurious allegations, and character assassination, not only against His Majesty Ogiame Atuwatse III, the Olu of Warri, but also against Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Limited over Pipeline Surveillance Contracts, especially on the Trans-Forcados Pipeline (TFP)”, he added.

Edema said that, as critical stakeholders in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry, with approximately 33 percent of Nigeria’s daily production, they had to come out and put the facts in its right perspectives.

“It will be foolhardy not to put the facts before the public as they are, and separate facts from fiction, especially as the Itsekiri Nation owns at least 70 per cent of the TFP. The Trans-Forcados-Pipeline is one of the largest trunk lines in Nigeria and is often referred to as inside the Western Trunk line geographically.”

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