Trans Forcados Pipeline: Firm states position

Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMS), a leading asset company dedicated to protecting the country’s resources from graft and illegal activities, 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 a four-page advertorial in newspapers today, a copy of which was sent to President Buhari, security agencies, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other critical stakeholders.

It said the investigation had become imperative in the light of the smear campaign against it by companies saddled with the surveillance of the TFP.

The TFP is a vital piece of Nigeria’s national infrastructure capable of transporting 200, 000 to 240, 000 barrels of oil per day (about 14 per cent 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.

The protection of this vital national resource has been an issue.

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Recently, some individuals and corporate bodies placed advertisements in newspapers accusing the 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.

”ln 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 firm said in the advertorial, wondering if this was not a case of oil thieves and illegal bunkerers fighting back?

It accused two companies (Shoreline Natural Resources and Eraskorp) of orchestrating the campaign, having realised that it had been invited by the Nigerian National Petroluem Corporation (NNPC) to take over the responsibility for the security of the TFP.

The advertorial further reads: “If we accept NNPC’s invitation to take over responsibility for the security of theTrans 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 theTFP have engaged in a clumsy smear campaign in an effort to harm us and preserve the status quo.”

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

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.”

The company also gave insights into other operations it had carried out in the oil sector.

It said: “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.”

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On the contentious Trans Forcados Pipeline, TFP, management, the company said it was invited to the job strictly on account of its track record of performance.

“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.”

OMS is led by Captain Idahosa Okunbo, the executive chairman and majority shareholder, and has over 3000 work force in the Delta community.