The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has designated the Oil and Gas Search, Rescue and Surveillance Command and Control Center, SeRAS, whose objective is to improve safety and operational efficiency in the oil industry.
Director, DPR, Mr. Sarki Auwalu, who pointed out the program in Lagos on Monday, revealed that it was being implemented in collaboration with Omni-Blu Aviation Services Limited, in order to increase safety and generate revenue.
He noted that search, rescue and surveillance were critical to the industry’s operations, adding that this required the establishment of the National Center of Excellence in Oil and Gas, NOGEC, which was recently inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Specifically, he said: “If it is not safe, it cannot generate income, and if the income must be constant, it must be safe. That is why we have to create insurance and guarantee for all workers throughout the value chain, whether they work at sea or on land, whether they work for exploration and production, marketing or refining.
“The essence of this program is to guarantee the safety of lives, guaranteeing at the same time in the event of any emergency and, at the same time, providing medical services to the victims who will be involved in the incident and, above all, creating a cooperation agreement to reduce costs and improve value for all stakeholders. “
He argued that the vision of the administration led by Buhari and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, was to open Nigeria for business.
Auwalu said reducing the risk of operations in the oil and gas sector would attract more investors, improving the country’s economic growth and development.
The Commissioner of the Office of Accident Investigation, AIB, Nigeria, Akin Olateru, said that Nigeria was a signatory to Annex 12 of the Chicago Convention, which requires the creation of a program like SeRAS. “Search and rescue is important. It saves lives and property and improves productivity, something any nation should take seriously, ”he said.
Similarly, retired AVM Muhammadu Muhammed, Director General, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, said continued collaboration between DPR and the agency was critical to improving safety.
Muhammed, represented by Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, Acting Coordinator, Southwest Zonal Office, NEMA, said that SeRAS would complement NEMA’s efforts in disaster management and reduction in the oil and gas industry.
Additionally, Mr. Chinedu Okoronkwo, President of the Nigerian Independent Petroleum Traders Association, and Mr. Ademola Adeyemi-Bero, President of the Independent Petroleum Producers Group, commended DPR for establishing the program.