Friday, October 26, 2007

Nigeria: More Trouble in Central Africa for Oil Companies

Though I've written about the small companies and their exploration activities, events happen in many countries where exploration and productions happens. It does not matter the size of the company. It can happen in any country. The wrong place at the wrong time.

An example came from Eni today.

Quoting the Press Release on the Eni site.

Nigeria: attack to FPSO Mystras vessel

October 26, 2007 - 13.10 pm

The attack occurred today at dawn some 85 km off Nigerian coast. Attackers managed to climb aboard the FPSO Mystras and seized six workers, whose nationalities are Polish and Indian. Another Nigerian worker is reported to be slightly injured at one leg. Eni will provide further details as soon as available.

October 26, 2007 - 11.06 am

Eni informs that today 26 October, around 7 am Italian Time, some speedboats carrying unidentified gunmen assaulted and jumped aboard a supply vessel nearby the FPSO Mystras. Attackers also tried to climb upon the Mystras itself without success. No one has been reported to be injured so far. Eni will provide further details as soon as available.

(*) FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading), is a vessel for production, storage and offloading of crude oil.

Over the past few months there have been several hostage takings in Nigeria. It is matter of fact of doing business in this country - everyone going there as an expat knows it and should expect it. As an expat who has lived abroad, you know that when you accept the position overseas or elsewhere, that it is not your backyard. You are in a different country with a set of different laws and different lifestyles and different governments.

Fortunately, the past incidents with kidnappings have been resolved peacefully; though the full details are never released, and this is good news for Eni and the current hostages.

Eni has been operating in Nigeria for quite sometime and has worked in many countries. No matter how much you plan for the unexpected, something can happen that no one can see coming.

We hope that they will be released soon.

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