19 January 2014, Accra – Credible information reaching The Chronicle indicates that a multinational oilfield inspection, lifting, fabrication and manpower services firm, Global Energy Ventures Group has taken over a job, which was being executed by Ghanaians on the oil rig, FPSO
The UK headquartered Global Energy Ventures Group, which has operations in Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Mauritania, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Tanzania and Cameroon , took over the services management contract from SeaWorld Engineering Ghana Limited, a Ghanaian firm yesterday.
This is in sharp contrast to the Petroleum Law (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulation, 2013 (LI 2204) which seeks to put Ghanaians at the forefront of all petroleum activities and ensure that they benefit from the country’s new resource.
According to affected workers who were contracted by SeaWorld Engineering Ghana Limited to work on the rig, on behalf of MODEC, which manages the vessel for Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), the Global Energy Ventures Group got the contract with the help of three Scottish.
They include the Offshore Installation Manager (OIM) of the rig, Bruce Tiat, one Peter, a maintenance superintendent on the rig, and George Williamson, a supervisor at Global Energy Ventures.
Speaking in a telephone interview with The Chronicle, Victor Ahadzi, who is among the staff that have lost their job as a result of the takeover said, “we started working with the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah since 2010. We used to do scaffolding, painting, fabrication and welding on the rig.
“But we were asked on Wednesday to leave the rig by the OIM and we pleaded to allow us to contact SeaWorld, which brought us to the rig but he refused and even became angry.”
He mentioned himself, Godwin Ofosu, and Ibrahim Aidoo as the rig workers who were on rotation duty when the incident occurred. “Before this incident, one of our scaffolding supervisors, Francis Adukonu was sacked also in similar fashion late December, 2013”, Mr. Ahadzi added.
When asked why Mr. Adukonu was axed from the job, Ahadzi quoted Mr. Tiat as saying that he (Mr. Adukonu) was old and needed to be replaced by Mr. Williamson.
“But frankly speaking, Mr. Williamson looks even older than Mr. Adukonu”, Ahadzi quoted Tiat as saying.
MAINTENANCE SHUT DOWN
The Global Energy Ventures Group came to the shores of Ghana following the five months shut down of FPSO Kwame Nkrumah for maintenance. The company was brought in by Tullow Oil Plc, the unit operator of Jubilee field and its partners to carry out some maintenance on the oil vessel.
Ahadzi told The Chronicle that when the Global Energy Ventures’ shut down job on the rig was over, Mr. Williamson was brought in to supervise them on the rig. His duty was to address the rig workers, particularly the scaffolders on the Toolbox talk – that is safety tips on the rig before the start of work, but he (Mr. William) did not carry out this task.
Mr. Ahadzi and his team added that “we used to do the toolbox talk by ourselves before commencement of work every day.”
“On 30th December 2013, I went on to the rig but William was off duty. When he reported to work three days later, he told us that the scaffolding work was not going according his plan and that we should dismantle all the scaffoldings, which we were on the verge of finishing, an instruction we obeyed.”
The aggrieved workers said before the shutdown work on the vessel they had information that Mr. William was working to take over the contract from SeaWorld.
According to Ahadze and his group, Mr. Williamson once threatened that if any of the rig workers misbehaved, he would not hesitate to cause the person’s dismissal. This is because the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah no more belongs to MODEC but rather to Tullow Oil Plc.
The dismissed workers, whose livelihood are in danger, further explained that when the Offshore Installation Manager (OIM) of the rig, Bruce Tiat was invited to a meeting on Wednesday over the bad blood between them and Mr. Williamson to find a lasting solution to the problem, he failed to show up.
“The officers present at the meeting were two Indians-Vipul, a superintendent and Maheish, a maintenance supervisor. It was at the meeting that we were sacked,” they said.
When contacted, the Logistic Officer of SeaWorld Engineering Ghana Limited, Gershon Amedetor told The Chronicle that the Administrator and Human Resource Officer of the oil and gas services firm were currently in a crunch meeting over the matter.
The Executive Director the Ghana Oil and Gas Service Providers Association (GOGSPA), Nuetey Adzeman also confirmed the incident to The Chronicle, saying “I have met with the authorities of National Petroleum Commission (NPC) and they agreed to invite all the parties to the table”.
When this reporter contacted the NPC, the front desk executive directed The Chronicle to speak to the CEO of the NPC. But upon countless calls, none of them went through.
At the time of going to the press, the paper was told the three Scots and the officials of the Global Energy Ventures were on the rig, so phone calls could not go through.
*Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh, The Star