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Ocean Marine seeks probe of Trans Forcados pipeline management

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Capt. (Dr) Idahosa Wells Okunbo JP, Chairman of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMS)

Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMS), an asset company, has decried alleged blackmail, smear campaign and defamatory publications concerning its operations by those charged with the surveillance of Trans Forcados Pipeline (TFP).

It also called on the Federal Government to investigate the alleged “calamitous mismanagement” of TFP and hold accountable those responsible, vowing not to be intimidated by “desperate” players in the sector.

OMS made the call in an advertorial in newspapers, which it also copied to President Muhammadu Buhari, security agencies, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other critical stakeholders.

The company said the investigation had become imperative in the light of the smear campaign against it.

According to a statement, “the TFP is a vital piece of Nigeria’s national infrastructure capable of transporting 200,000 to 240,000 barrels of oil per day equivalent to 14% of Nigeria’s daily production. It is the key to transporting crude oil from some of Nigeria’s largest and most prolific assets and it is, therefore, of fundamental national strategic importance.

“Protection of this vital national resource has been an issue. Recently, some individuals and corporate bodies placed advertisements in newspapers accusing the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of moves to terminate their contract. But OMS sees the publications as attempts to frustrate it from taking over the job, for which OMS is most competent.”

“In recent weeks, OMS has been the victim of a crude smear campaign orchestrated by desperate factions who are fearful that their lucrative abuse of the TFP will be over if OMS takes over the responsibility for security and surveillance, “ the company said in the advertorial, wondering if it was not “a case of oil thieves and illegal bunkerers fighting back?”

OMS accused two companies of orchestrating the campaign, having realised that it had been invited by the NNPC to take over the responsibility for the security of the TFP.

“If we accept NNPC’s invitation to take over responsibility for the security of the Trans Forcados Pipeline, we will gladly put an end to the criminal abuse of another key part of our strategic national infrastructure.

“Fearful that we will put an end to their illegal racketeering, vested interests in the TFP have engaged in the clumsy smear campaign in an effort to harm us and preserve the status quo,” OMS said.

OMS said unlike the companies behind the campaign, it had a successful track record of securing strategic national infrastructure and stopping illegal bunkering, vandalism and oil theft.

“For example, NNPC spent over $150 million trying to revamp the Escravos-Warri crude pipeline before eventually resorting to moving crude by marine vessels. It is on record that not only did OMS rehabilitate the Escravos-Warri pipeline against the odds, but did so while bearing all of the considerable financial risk in order to demonstrate that we could deliver on our promises. Only when we had invested $32 million and proved our concept by revitalizing the pipeline did NNPC award us a contract in line with best practices and benchmarks.”


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