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What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

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What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

Old 11th May 2006, 16:03
  #761 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 71
Posts: 16,615
Foreign oil workers kidnapped in Nigeria

Report By Austin Ekeinde

Three foreign oil workers, including one Italian, were kidnapped from a car under armed escort in Nigeria's oil capital Port Harcourt on Thursday, a day after a U.S. oil executive was shot dead in the same city.

Police and industry sources said the abduction of the employees of Italian oil contractor Saipem was sparked by a dispute between the company and a community where it is working and that efforts were under way to secure their release.

"The matter is being worked on and is moving toward positive results," Rivers State Police Commissioner Samuel Agbetuyi told Reuters by telephone, adding that one suspected kidnapper had been arrested.

The militant Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), which has waged a campaign of attacks against the oil industry in the world's eighth largest exporter, said it was not involved in the kidnapping.

Industry sources said the three men were traveling in two SUVs with a police escort when they were stopped by gunmen, who disarmed their security.
They were taken from the cars to a nearby boat on one of the multitude of mangrove-lined creeks that runs through the vast wetlands region.


On Wednesday a gunman on a motorcycle shot dead a U.S. citizen working for Texan oil services company Baker Hughes in an apparently planned assassination. Diplomatic and oil industry sources said the killing was probably an isolated incident related to a work dispute.
Kidnapping is a fairly common method used by impoverished villages in the lawless delta, suffering neglect from their own government, to extract benefits or cash from oil companies.

Port Harcourt is the largest city in the Niger Delta, which pumps all of Nigeria's oil, and several multinationals have major offices there, including Royal Dutch Shell and Agip.

The kidnapping and killing add to a rising trend of violent crime and communal unrest in the vast wetlands region, which coincides with heightened political instability in Nigeria ahead of elections next year.

MEND's emergence in December has raised the stakes in the delta, because it introduced a more professional military style of attack, more deadly firepower and a more focused political dimension to the militancy.
As usual....your Nigerian Police or Army security detail care more about their lives and welfare than protecting the protectee.

The message in the killing is simple....cooperate or die.

(In a purely honest attempt at being cynical....maybe the staff of CHC and BHL should consider retaining the services of MEND to represent them in their Industrial Actions.)
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Old 11th May 2006, 20:06
  #762 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Afrika sometimes
Age: 64
Posts: 219
Thumbs down

One American from Baker Hughes killed, possibly in a targeted assasination in Port Harcourt. Police? duh? believe this was a killing as a result of a private matter - our police are very well known for their competence, honesty and solving of all manner of cases within a few hours
Three expatriates working for Agip/Saipem kidnapped as the result of a community dispute - possibly - there was disruption inside the Agip base in Port Harcourt this week. After the killing of 8 MOPOL inside the Agip base recently and the happenings of this week, CHC/Aero workers must feel confident that all of their managers who are there in Port Harcourt taking the risks with them have the situation fully apprised and that their new pay deal will take account of all these things
Oyibo, give me your money - you are welcome to Nigeria
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Old 12th May 2006, 14:17
  #763 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 71
Posts: 16,615
A ruptured pipeline exploded Friday in southwestern Nigeria as villagers rushed to collect oil gushing from it and a local TV station said up to 200 people were feared dead.
Firefighters were on the scene of the explosion at Ilado, a village about 25 miles east of Nigeria's main city of Lagos, and Red Cross workers were helping survivors.

"There was a big fire and quite a number of people died," Red Cross spokeswoman Okon Umoh said without elaborating.

The blast came as villagers flocked to the ruptured conduit to scoop up fuel that was gushing out. Up to 200 may have perished in the explosion, according to Nigeria's Channels Television.

Nigeria is Africa's leading oil producer, the world's seventh-biggest exporter and fifth-biggest source of U.S. oil imports.

Thieves often steal heavily subsidized fuel from pipelines for personal use or to sell across borders where prices are higher.

In 1998, more than 1,000 villagers died when a ruptured gasoline pipeline exploded as they scavenged fuel.
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Old 13th May 2006, 21:19
  #764 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: A man of the world
Posts: 128
So - is Nigeria worth it or not, with the money as it stands (or what it might realistically be in the near future if there is an increase)? If not - where else needs IFR Captains? Anyone open to answering some questions for me via PM?
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Old 14th May 2006, 01:52
  #765 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 124
IMHO the risk reward for working in Nigeria is out of kilter. I was recently offered the equivelant of 85k to come to Nigeria. I thought about it for less then 24 hours and declined. The salary is not the main reason I declined. The security and living conditions were my deciding factor.
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Old 14th May 2006, 02:16
  #766 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
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Age: 71
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Having read the account by one pilot who got up in the Escravos invasion by the neighbors that resulted in the vandalizing of several helicopters.....85K runs a bit thin for my blood too. When Mobs with sticks, knives, dirks, daggers, pots, pans, and related instruments of mass destruction start running amok....and all one has for defense is the Nigerian Army and Police (both being about as useful as a Dingo Babysitter)...nope....not enough money. Touring the wonderful High Island patch in a Jetbox pays that good with a bit of workover and the worse thing that might happen is one might pick the wrong gutter to sleep in during hurricane season.
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Old 14th May 2006, 15:29
  #767 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Lagos
Posts: 245
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N Arslow,
Neither CHC nor Bristow has yet given any details of any pay rises for this year in Nigeria, though both are absolutely desperate for pilots now and either have, or will soon have, helicopters grounded by lack of crew to fly them. Your actual quality of life in Nigeria may well depend on which contract you work on and for which company. If you fly out of Escravos, you'll fly a lot and could end up locked down in the camp as happened recently. If you fly S76 for Bristow you'll be booted around all over the place, so take lots of changes of clothes. If you wok on a Shell contract you'll live in decent housing and have good sporting facilities in either Snake Island, Warri or Port Harcourt. If you work out of Lagos for Bristow on the S76 you'll live in pretty average housing in a rather dangerous area so you probably wouldn't want to go out at night. If you work in Port Harcourt for Bristow you may live in the Star King Hotel, which is pretty okay or out at Woji, which is not too bad but is in a rather dangerous area (as is the estate where the Shell pilots live). The Pan African guys in Escravos live in a fortified prison anyway, and even that has been over-run several times. If you fly for Aero you'll live in pretty lousy housing and work a lot with little or nothing to occupy your leisure. Both companies have recently responded to what they see as a deterioration in the security situation (probably just by watching some of the reports on CNN about the killing of an American and the kidnapping of 3 Italians in Port Harcourt) by effectively stopping staff from leaving their living areas except to go to work. This now means that if you work in Nigeria you are confined to camp. On some camps which have good facilities that's probably not too bad for 6 or 7 weeks (some people prefer not to venture out anyway). If you're working for CHC it's really like being in prison as they have very limited leisure facilities on their estate and despite a lot of talk, that hasn't really improved since they took over. There is a lot of talk about a new staff house, but so far talk is all it is. If you have the choice, I'd wait another couple of months and see if either company actually comes up with anything approaching a realistic pay scheme for putting up with the conditions in Nigeria. If not, both companies have many other IFR operations in places which are much nicer to live and work in, both in Africa and other parts of the world.
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Old 14th May 2006, 16:35
  #768 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: A man of the world
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Tokunbo and Foggy. Thanks for that, particularly Tokunbo. You have painted a good picture to confirm what I was thinking. Interesting indeed.

I will wait and see. Happily I am in the position to be able to.
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Old 14th May 2006, 17:48
  #769 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Planet Blue
Posts: 85
Eket & Escravos is the same operation?
If not can you tell me how is the lifestyle in Eket (Acomodation, Food etc)
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Old 14th May 2006, 18:06
  #770 (permalink)  
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There is Whale watching to be done at Eket....you can also see the lush green isle of Malabo on the horizon when the fog and dust disappear. The scenic tour between the downtown estate and the heliport is always a delight. Sunning on the beautiful white sand beach and Golf on the Beach course, surf gently breaking near the fairway is so soothing. The Epicurean delights in the Mobil Five Star dining hall defeats description. All of that is reduced to insignificance when one journeys to and fro between Eket and Lagos or Port Harcourt for travel home on leave. All and all....a much sought after tropical holiday locale.

Escravos on the other hand is quite near Lagos as compared to Eket although there is no way to arrive by road as one must take a boat through the scenic Mangrove delta or fly in by airplane to the fully instrumented runway with huge overuns at each end, located beside the towers, masts, and barge cranes. Recreational outlets do not measure up to Eket, in that there is no golf course, surf, beach, or travel from the compound. Thus for those who enjoy walking or biking, a wonderful alternative exists to the modern ground transportation provided by Chevron on the camp. The walk/bike ride between the camp and the hangar can very refreshing during Monsoon as the Delta takes on new vistas with the coming of the rain. Boredom is never a problem at Escravos, the friendly local residents adjacent to the camp remain ever so available and never fail to offer invitations to local fete's and riotus events. For those who enjoy a variation in their daily routines, the flying tasking by Chevron always works to relieve the boredom of set routines and schedules.
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Old 14th May 2006, 20:08
  #771 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Lagos
Posts: 245

Sorry-oh, too many vodka, Red Bulls today after a hectic night!! In my first paragraph I meant to say that it was Eket which was locked down recently. Escravos, of course, has not been invaded for some months now, though the guys there also fly a lot. Escravos is the most westerly of the Delta operations and you live on the Chev/Tex compound. Haven't slept or eaten there for many years, so you'll have to ask someone about the catering and food there. Eket is to the East of PH and you'll likely live on the Akpan estate where the quality of the food depends on how good you are at cooking or whether you have a good cook in your house. Shell operations are also self-catering. With Aero you get fed, but wish you were self-catering
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Old 15th May 2006, 09:34
  #772 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: On the move.....
Posts: 12

The new Olog broom in Lagos has managed to improve the daily life to a new standard. He promised three major steps scheduled 30/60/90 days.
Two already happened:

An increase in daily allowance up to a stunning N 2500/day, which now will enable staff to buy all the pasta and bananas available. Lots of tins as well.

New shower curtains

Within 14 days there will be a 50% discount on mousetraps and Bristow Group caps.

Could anyone explain the lack of pilots in Paradise after this?
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Old 16th May 2006, 11:28
  #773 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Nigeria
Posts: 2
The Aero Paradise

According to Ian Richards, CHC resource planner, who was here in PH last week CHC will not make any pay announcement until at least the middle of June. The board of directors have to first of all decide on the size of the pot, and I will be surprised if it is more than 5%. There are plenty of rumours flying around, but there is no substance to them. It will be up to the CHC management to decide what to do with that pot. My guess is that they will conduct a fire fighting exercise.

The last figure from Rod Legassick, Aero's Head of Rotary Flight Dept, is that Aero needs 27 pilots by the end of the year. At the moment Aero cannot keep pace with those leaving let alone recruit more. There was one pilot who resigned a few weeks ago who did not even fly one revenue trip. CHC must have been particularly pissed off, because they had just paid for his Canadian licence. He must have cost them thousands. However there does not seem to be any serious attempt to understand why Aero are losing pilots and engineers in droves. Until the Aero/CHC management admit to themselves that this place is a shithole they will not do anything to change it. When the lights are turned off by the last one out of the door they might then see the problem...........or not!! Meanwhile our two managers have buried their heads in the sand at the Intel camp having first donned blinkers and ear defenders just to make sure that they don't hear or see anything nasty.

Somebody previously asked about numbers of airframes. In Port Harcourt, Aero currently has nine Dauphins (N,N2,N3 models) and seven S76C+. One Dauphin is in Norway for an overhaul and one S76 is a hangar queen. I am not sure about the exact numbers, but there will be a net increase in aircraft of about four or five by the end of the year including some AB139's. At the current rate there won't be anybody to fly or maintain them.

I can't understand why not because according to Brian Clegg we live in PARADISE.
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Old 16th May 2006, 15:51
  #774 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 25

You mean 2006?
The huge noise of their silence, is provoking pain
Mainly after Mr Dobbin " fiasco".
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Old 16th May 2006, 16:09
  #775 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 71
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Brian Clegg....now there's a name. One must admit the balmy clime within Nigeria lies could qualify as a tropical paradise of a sort. If you were safely esconced within a secure Five Star accomodation with an unlimited budget for entertainment of customers....police escort for your travels...luxury automobiles....someone to do the chores and cooking, swimming pool, outdoor bar, tennis courts, squash court, golf course. Throw in the Sat TV, internet, seamless electricity...heck...that is not a bad deal at all.

Do they ever come out of the Castle and visit the cake eaters? Have they ever spent the night much less a full six weeks in the staff quarters? Do they even know where the staff quarters are?
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Old 16th May 2006, 16:31
  #776 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 25
Do they

Do they (CHC Global) admit that, even Nigeria, is a democratic country, which permits that helicopter pilots, or others, organise themselves as an association or union, and they (BC++) don't?
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Old 16th May 2006, 20:06
  #777 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Lost and Legless somewhere in LaLaLand
Age: 73
Posts: 481

So, now it starts. New posters obviously angry at the lack of any sign of recognition by either Bristow or CHC of the unique problems encountered in Nigeria, chronic crew shortages looming, talk of associations or unions even in darkest Africa for expats Whatever next? Probably absolutely nothing if history is anything to go by. It won't affect the fancy salaries or lifestyles of the upper echelons of management in these companies, just make it harder for the grunts down at the coalface to cope with ever-increasing workloads caused by increasing crew shortages. Who thinks that Bristow or CHC will take the slightest bit of notice of the possibility of having to deal with an association or union rep? They've managed to screw even quite well-organised workforces on the North Sea, so why should Nigeria or the Global Overseas be any different?
A few concessions will be made, there will be endless promises of better things to come very soon and they hope that all will quieten down and the status quo will return. They'll back down from any obvious upfront confrontation and find other ways to screw people from behind. Surely it must be obvious by now that the monied classes always win. If companies go under, it's only the musfrooms who end up dying in the manure.
I'd love to end up having to eat my hat, but I'm not going out to buy the saucepan to cook it in yet
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Old 16th May 2006, 20:27
  #778 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Victoria Garden City
Posts: 34
The Caring Company

It makes me sad to see so many negative people here. Visit our website, we even have vacancy for non-managers, with or without pointy shoe. No living on this Areeta. Our superb modern housing complex is situated in the best area of Ikeja, very close to Guiness refinery and when the wind is blowing in the right direction, even the fumes from the tyre and battery factories are wafted away from your luxury flat. You'll have ample time to enjoy squandering some of your daily N1,000 allowance on cooking yourself some mouthwatering delicacies such as snail or grasscutter on the well appointed barbecue (always useful when there is no fuel for generator).
We now have a shiny new red helicopter that daddy got for me and we are looking for qualified red-helicopter pilots. The helicopter is so nice with slidding door and all manner of modern amenities to make life more comfortable. Of course, a progressive company such as ours which now has, red, white, blue and yellow helicopters will soon be getting green one to prove our patriotism. Daddy is talking to that awfully nice Mr Pedro who lets us have so many nice coloured helicopters and never makes any money for them himself.
No fiascos here with Dobbles, pasta, mousetraps. Daddy knows what's best and if we know what's good for us we all agree with him. Naturally shower curtain, Caverton hat, allowance, cake and eating implements all are provided in the Caverton paradise. In the nation's vibrant commercial capital you will be well away from the troublesome areas in the Delta region. Come and join the future with us. The S92 and the shuttle will be starting any day from now.
Profits are up, gloom is down. With us everyone is a winner
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Old 16th May 2006, 20:38
  #779 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 71
Posts: 16,615
Maybe it is time to start a "Promise Pool" and see who has the clearest crystal ball.

We could do the a reverse drawing kind of thing for each company...CHC and BHL (includes Pan African). List the promises one by one and then pick dates for the start of each "promised" change. We could handicap the picks by probability of them coming to pass.

Heliport can be the judge for the contest and I will be willing to hold all the wagers in an Escrow account for payment of expenses and prizes.

Anyone up for it?
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Old 16th May 2006, 20:53
  #780 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lalaland
Posts: 17
It would not be like us to be boasting of our success in keeping to our promises and doing so on time. If you'd care to PM me, I'll make sure you're well rewarded for bringing our efforts to the attention of so many (as long as it's all done within the code of business practise of course ).
In a futher effort to persuade people to stay, I now propose to increase the number of special-edition Bristow pens (with attractive flashing light feature) and further discount Bristow Group International caps, but only to those within WASBU.
So now - increased allowance, shower curtains, extra discount on the caps AND the pens - do you think there's any more we can do? If there's anything more along the lines of this you can think of please let us know. Our only concern is to make life here as close to paradise on earth as we can for our valued staff.
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