Thu. Nov 26th, 2020

OML 30: Heritage Oil Company,  Contractors In Showdown Over Illegal Termination Of Surveillance Contracts – The Liberator 

By Ndu Samuel

There is a cold war brewing between the management of Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited and indigenous contractors operating in Trans Forcados Pipeline/ UPS right of way in OML 30 over the former’s decision to cancel all surveillance contracts entered into with the indigenous contractors.

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The management of Heritage Energy had on the 6th of April written to the contractors notifying them of the company’s decision to cancel service surveillance and grass cutting services on Rapele -Forcados Terminal (FT) UPS/ Rapele Trunck Line / Trans -Forcados Pipeline right of way in OML 30.

The company also through the said letter to the contractors notified them that the contracts had been reassigned to one Ocean Marine Services, hence all earlier agreement entered into becomes terminated.
However, in their reaction, the contractors vowed to resist the move on the ground that the decision of the Heritage Energy breached all procedural arrangements on which the contracts were entered into.
In their reply dated 30th April 2020, the contractors demanded the withdrawal of the cancellation notice sent via email to all the contractors as well as immediate payment of all outstanding invoices owed contractors from 2017 till date among other sundry demands.
They wrote “Sequel to your letter as referred to above dated 6th day of April 2020, it is to bring to your notice that we are vehemently rejecting your position as clearly outlined in the said letter.”
“It is our utmost interest, the communities, Delta State government and the Federal government of Nigeria at large to outrightly reject your position because of the unforeseen imminent consequence that may arise from your actions.”
The contractors advanced a well articulated nine paragraph ground of objection on which it rejected the decision of the company which it described as not only disrespectful but provocative.
It reads in part “The project handed to Ocean Marin services as claimed by your letter under reference is a legacy project with an authenticated laid down procedure from SPDC and NNPC”
“Prior to your acquisition of the legacy project from NPDC , it has been a laid down procedure where another company is taken over the said project and innovation agreement is executed among the parties which includes the indigenous contractors”
They warn that any attempt to forcefully evacuate their staffs from project site may result to vandalism and wanton destruction of infrastructure which may have a negative impact on both the company, the government and at the same time gravely affect the economy of the nation.
The contractors through the letter maintained that the failure of Heritage Energy to “adopt the accepted laid down procedure is a clear indication for disrespect and for us the indigenous contractors for service rendered over the years”
They said “We have painstakingly protected and preserved the TFP more particularly in line with the terms and conditions of the contract agreement without single breach of the said contract” and do not deserve to be treated in such manner.
“Termination of contract should strictly be on the basis of breach of contract and not on the basis of any other company taking over the said project and more also that the project is still running.” They insisted

Meanwhile, one of the indigenous contractor who hinted The Liberator Newspaper on the condition of anonymity disclosed that the coming days are likely to witness shutdown of Heritage operated flow stations in the area as other places in Delta are already shutting down.

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