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OMS Demands FG’s Probe Of Trans Forcados Pipeline Mgt

…raises the alarm over blackmail, defamation

Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMS), a leading asset company dedicated to protecting the nation’s strategic assets, has tasked the Federal Government to investigate the management of Trans Forcados Pipeline (TFP).

The firm also decried the campaign of calumny and defamatory publications against it concerning its operations by those charged with the surveillance of TFP.

OMS called on government and its agencies to probe the alleged blackmail, smear campaign and defamatory publications concerning its operations with a view to bringing masterminds to book.

It insisted that it would not be intimidated by “desperate” players in the sector.

In a four-page advertorial, copies of which were sent to President Muhammadu Buhari, security agencies, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other major stakeholders, OMS said investigation had become imperative in view of the alleged smear campaign against it by companies saddled with TFP’s surveillance.

It, however, accused two companies – Shoreline Natural Resources and Eraskorp – of orchestrating the campaign following its invitation by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to take over responsibility for the security of the TFP.

The TFP is a major national infrastructure with capacity of transporting 200,000 to 240,000 barrels of oil per day; 14% of Nigeria’s daily oil production. The pipeline plays central role in transporting crude oil from some of Nigeria’s largest and most prolific assets.
OMS stated that desperate people are out to tarnish its reputation over the TFP surveillance contract.

It said: “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 if this was not ‘a case of oil thieves and illegal bunkerers fighting back?’

“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 a clumsy smear campaign in an effort to harm us and preserve the status quo.”

The leading asset company stated that it has a track record of securing strategic national infrastructure and stopping illegal bunkering, vandalism and oil theft.
This record, OMS said, the companies behind the smear campaign could not boast of.

It said: “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.

“Our approach to Esravos-Warri where OMS singularly carried the financial risk and burden associated with proving our concept is characteristic of our values. We succeeded because of our patriotism, dedication, capacity and enormous structures deployed on the line.

“Following the successful delivery of Escravos-Warri, NNPC approached OMS to replicate the achievement on the Bonny-Port Harcourt pipeline. Our efforts led to the formal re-commissioning of those pipelines on 22 and 23 April, 2016 by the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources and the immediate past Group Managing Director, NNPC.

“Since April 2016, we have delivered 60,177,843 barrels of oil (and counting) to both refineries without any loss to the nation.”

OMS stated that it did not seek for the security and surveillance contract, but that the state-owned oil firm approached it to render services.

“OMS did not seek out the TFP security and surveillance contract. We were approached and invited to render our services because of the dire security situation, and because we have a reputation for delivering results.

“In particular, OMS’ impressive record of performance on the Bonny-Port Harcourt and Warri-Escravos pipelines and robust community engagement has earned the trust of NNPC.

“Indeed, we are pleased to be recognised as the game changer in the restoration of Escravos-Warri and Bonny-Port Harcourt pipelines, which were fundamentally damaged by oil thieves and militants for over five years before OMS stepped in to prove that these valuable pieces of infrastructure were viable when in the hands of the right people,” the petition stated.

Prominent businessman, Capt. (Dr.) Idahosa Okunbo, is the executive chairman and majority shareholder of OMS. The company has over 3,000 workers in the oil-rich Delta community.