The Department of Petroleum Resources on Monday inaugurated an initiative aimed at tackling accidents associated with oil and gas operations through the use of helicopters to ensure the safety of lives.
The Director/Chief Executive Officer, DPR, Mr Sarki Auwalu, while speaking at the inauguration of the Search, Rescue and Surveillance Programme, said the initiative was designed to improve safety and operational efficiency in the oil and gas industry.
According to him, the programme will enhance safety in the country and ensure that the oil and gas industry is run profitably, safely and optimally.
“Our own industry is run on only two things: revenue interest and safety. If it is not safe, don’t do it. If you don’t make money, don’t do it,” he said.
Auwalu said the programme was being implemented in collaboration with Omni-Blu Aviation Limited, an indigenous aviation company.
He said, “Safety is non-negotiable. This is why we have to create insurance and assurance for all workers across the value chain.
“The essence of this programme is to guarantee the safety of lives and guarantee response to any emergency and at the same time, provide medical services to victims that may be involved in the incident or accident.”
Auwalu said reducing the risks in the industry would attract more investors into the country.
He said, “The oil and gas industry is like the engine room for the economic activities of this country. We are trying to de-risk our nation.
“So, this infrastructure that we put in place with the support of the President and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources gives hope that investors are ready to come to work in a safe and secure environment.”
The Managing Director, Omni-Blu Aviation, Capt. James Daniel, said the DPR and the company came together to develop a holistic solution geared towards ensuring a safe working environment in the oil industry, describing the programme as one of the most important support services in the industry.
He said with its commitment to safety, value creation, cost effectiveness, the DPR reached out to industry professional to aid the development of the programme.
He said, “What you will witness today is the first phase of the implementation programme where we shall showcase the multi-role capabilities of the helicopters that will form part of the fleet.
“Phase two, which is the search and rescue part of the programme, requires specifically configured helicopters, and this phase is well close to completion.”
According to Daniel, the helicopters are fully equipped to provide immediate life-saving care to virtually all manner of accidents both onshore and offshore.