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What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

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What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

Old 1st May 2007, 18:00
  #1781 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Lagos
Posts: 245

Just putting a few new toys like TCAD, HUMS and EGPWS doesn't make a tired old design a modern helicopter. As can be seen from another thread on this forum, there are many arguments for and against EGPWS and at the moment it is of limited value when flying in Nigeria because of its limited database and no updates for movable offshore installations, such as rigs, barges etc. There are almost as many tired old 412 basics and SPs as there are EPs. All CHCs new S76s have EGPWS, TCAD, Skywatch, GNS 530, IIDS and Sikorsky's own vibrex system fitted. I guess by 'all' the new S76C+s imported, you mean the 3 IIDS machines, as the non-IIDS machines are old ex-Helikopter Service (Sweden) machines. As for BCT and SKY . CHC are already retrofitting their 2 older S76s with Skywatch and GNS 530 and will be doing the same to the SA365N3s. The EC155s (actually owned by Shell) have no TCAD, EGPWS or Skywatch, have been a sad disappointment in terms of performance, payload and range and are likely to disappear from the skies of Nigeria in the next year or two. I'm told Shell are looking at the AW139 now it has an approved simulator. Mind you, that probably won't help CHC, as Bristow had no experience of operating Dauphins (and the 155 is really only a 365N4), whilst Schreiner had many years experience with them, and Bristow still got the operating and maintenance contract. CHC does now have the advantage of having a new contract in Kazakhstan for Shell, which is rumoured to eventually expand to up to 10, or more AW139s.
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Old 1st May 2007, 20:57
  #1782 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Age: 74
Posts: 481
Thumbs down No Change After The Elections In Nigeria

It seems that there has been no change in the level of violence and kidnappings now that the Nigerian elections have drawn to their widely predictable conclusion of lacking any credibility within Nigeria itself or in the world community.

In Rivers State, the mother of the Governor (elect), Celestine Omeiha was abducted last night. There is a court case this week, which will rule whether Mr Omeiha was actually the candidate for the governing PDP or Rotimi Amaechi (Rotimi was arrestedafter an investigation into the ownership of Arik air and the misuse of N100 billion state funds )

Meanwhile, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has claimed responsibility for the attack on the FSO Oloibiri, near the Funiwa, off the coast of Bayelsa State, today. The militants are believed to have taken over a supply boat, killed a Nigerian Navy sailor and compelled the crew on the Oloibiri to throw down a rope for them to board, or they would dynamite the ship. They took 4 Italian, one American and one Croatian hostage. MEND have said that they will release the hostages unconditionally on May 30, 2007, but this will only be posible if the oil companies and Bayelsa state government make no attempts to secure the release of these hostages by offering ransom. Any such offers will be viewed as a slight and will compound the situation of these hostages. MEND has also stated;

We promised to give the present nigerian administration a shameful send-off. This attack is one in a series intended to embarras the out-going regime. It is also a warning to the incoming government which we view as an extension of the present. We will continue with our struggle for justice until we achieve all our goals without exception.
They also threatened action against Shell if they return to fields which MEND has previously attacked in Bayelsa and Delta states.

It seems likely that actions such as these will continue unabated because there are now so many groups who have been heavily armed by crooked politicians that it will be almost impossible to get them to surrender their weapons. The new government, lacking a true mandate or credibility may make some token attempt to crackdown on the militants soon after assuming power, will revert to business as usual, but there are now too many armed groups over here who have discovered how much money is to be made from kidnapping expatriates for life to return to what used to thought of as usual
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Old 3rd May 2007, 16:38
  #1783 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: AFRICA
Posts: 153
More kidnappings

What a day !

21 kidnapped today

8 from FPSO Mystras
12 from Afam power station
1 in Warri

And this just after they released the governor's mother
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Old 3rd May 2007, 18:33
  #1784 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 72
Posts: 16,612
Perhaps the argument about TCAS and such is a waste of time in light of current events.

I would suggest Survival radio's with GPS capability and a very good Escape and Evasion plan might be the more useful expenditure of company funds.
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Old 4th May 2007, 11:56
  #1785 (permalink)  

Nigerian In Law
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Haven't been there, never done that.
Age: 62
Posts: 1,020
Hey Sas !!

You could be the E & E instructor !! After all you've managed to get out in one piece. Bet you miss the "cut and thrust" don't you ?


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Old 4th May 2007, 15:37
  #1786 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 72
Posts: 16,612
Just before GB spent his time on a delta sojourn, I had talked about some of the things I had been taught during my time working for my Uncle Sam. As it turned out, he seemed to have done very well during his Ijaw Reality Quest. His well known ability to make friends with anyone besides a Wheeler Dealer made all the difference. He is the guy one needs to learn from....as he has been there...done that...and had the Malaria to prove it.

As I am about to become the proud owner of a nice ketch rigged sailboat designed built for cruising the Carib Islands....the only cut and thrust I anticipate is the banter between dusky brown maidens and Watash. I shall forsake crappy American beer for excellent Cuban Rum and cigars.

It would take some doing to entice me from that. The only orders I intend to follow are those set forth by Commodore Ruckus, my feline cruising partner.

Since the boat has HF and fax modem capability....I will be able to follow the ever evolving fun and games you folks are having in Nigeria and perhaps sling a few arrows from time to time.
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Old 14th May 2007, 07:20
  #1787 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Lost and Legless somewhere in LaLaLand
Age: 74
Posts: 481
Post An End To The Expansion?

The flying in the Niger Delta has been increasing for a few years now and both Bristow and CHC have expanded their operations, with CHC in particular bringing in many new fixed wing and helicopters and spending close to $2 million on their new facilities in Port Harcourt NAF Base. However, the flying may tail off for now while foreign oil companies and investors wait to see how the new government, due to take over in 2 weeks, handles the security situation in the volatile Niger Delta region.

Only around half of 45 oil exploration blocks Nigeria put up for auction Friday attracted bids, with foreigners wary of political uncertainy ahead of a government change, officials said.

The vast majority of those who submitted bids Friday were domestic oil companies. The few foreign bidders were virtual unknowns, an AFP reporter at the auction said.

Oil and gas analysts blamed the timing of the auction for the lack of interest on the part of big western oil companies.

The bid round comes between the April elections and May 29, the date at which the outgoing administration of Olusegun Obasanjo hands over to its successors.

Oil majors are uncertain as to how the incoming government will handle the problem of the Niger delta, where more than 30 foreigners have been abducted since the start of the month.

Nigeria has already cut back the number of blocks it decided to offer in the 2007 bid round. Senior energy officials had initially said late last year that some 60 blocks were going to be offered to satisfy massive interest from Asian investors.

The same officials subsequently revised down that figure to 45.

Some international, and notably Asian, oil companies that had been given priority to make bids for certain fields declined to do so.

The 11 inland basin blocks among those offered Friday attracted no bids at all.

Tony Chukwueke, Nigeria's Director of Petroleum Resources (DPR), admitted on the sidelines of the auction that the absence of bids for those blocks was "a bit disappointing."

He declined to comment on the way the auction as a whole went.
The unrest in the region has continued unabated since the elections with kidnappings of expatriate oil workers, evacuations of Chevron and Shell installations and huge pipeline explosions all in the last week.

Bristow claim that they now have enough pilots, but that isn't borne out by shortages around in the operations. CHC are still short of pilots and are still losing a number to Bristow. They hope that their annual pay review which is due soon, will equalise pay between the two companies and stop the drift away. With engineers, the traffic is in the other direction, the number of pilots going one way being about equalled by the number of engineers going the other way. The move to better housing by Bristow seems to have led to less pilots refusing to go to Port Harcourt and the prospect of working a 4/4 roster flying the S76C++ out of Escravos is likely to be popular now that Brsitow and Pan African Airlines pay have been equalised. Meanwhile, CHC are still discussing final plans for their so-called Death Camp and seem unlikely to move for a couple of years. They're continuing to bring in new helicopters and any oil company auditing operations must be impressed by the modern fleet and excellent engineering facilities in Port Harcourt. It's rumoured that CHC will be giving Bristow tough competition on renewal of the Shell contract.
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Old 14th May 2007, 11:43
  #1788 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 72
Posts: 16,612
Is not Bristow still grounding aircraft due to the lack of pilots?

Perhaps there is a bit of PR being spread about to avoid a loss of face.
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Old 15th May 2007, 20:10
  #1789 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: AFRICA
Posts: 153
Snoop CHC vs BRISTOW today

Since CHC took over, for the last 2 years they have been a lot more active than Bristow

-A complete fleet renewal (90% brand new N3 & 76)
-New type (139)
-Some heavy machines next year (225, 92)
-About 5% increase on CHC package this year (4% last year) it's never enough
-A second hangar in NAF with double apron (already too small)
-The new compound will come soon, 5 min driving from Naf (and that's important, only 5' from work...)

At least they are moving forward...
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Old 15th May 2007, 20:50
  #1790 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Jankara
Age: 61
Posts: 377

That'll be why in the last 6 months they've lost quite a few pilots to Bristow then? Could it be that the package of which you speak is rather smaller than it should be?

The complete fleet renewed? Don't just look at Bristows tired offerings in Port Harcourt when you compare. All the Bell 412s in QIT are now new EPs, and next month should see the first new S76C++ starting operations from Escravos. I understand that both companies are talking about S92 or EC225 next year - does that depend who wins the contract?

A second hangar in a location where the Nigerian military has already expelled all operators at short notice at least 3 times in the last 10 years. The Nigerian Air Force already has 2 passenger terminals, formerly the properties of Shell and Aero. Where will they go if the NAF decides to expel all the operators yet again? There's an old saying about not putting all ones eggs in the same basket. Surely both operators should long-ago have built purpose-built heliports in Port Harcourt, well clear of the NAF Base which is over-congested and where they are held hostage to the whims of the military.

I guess you're referring to the Death Camp. Having seen how long it takes to get new buildings finished in Nigeria, I suppose it depends what your definition of 'soon' is. Just the new CHC hangar and apron has now been under construction for more than 6 months. Building a new camp is something which is likely to take more than one year. It also ties them to having to stay at the NAF Base.

If they're only paying a 5% increase when they're already losing pilots, it doesn't seem they're that serious about changing that trend then

Lots of activity doesn't always equal forward movement
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Old 19th May 2007, 17:49
  #1791 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Lagos
Posts: 245
Wink Playing Catch-up?

I hear that CHC Global have already made their annual pay review for Nigeria (due in June) semi-officially known in an effort to halt pilot losses. The rumour I hear is that the rise will be 5% on salary and allowances. This should take a year 14 CHC Captain to about the same level as a Bristow year 5 Captain in Nigeria. I don't really see this changing anything as Bristow seniority goes up to 25 years and they also normally have an annual pay review due in July and if they have any common sense will have to react to the CHC rise, otherwise they may lose pilots who wish to fly the more modern machines which CHC has in Nigeria.
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Old 23rd May 2007, 10:30
  #1792 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Africa
Posts: 2
Offshore in Angola

Can anybody out there shed some light on what is happening at the moment in Angola?
I believe Heli Malongo out of Cabinda is a good operator to work for (salary?, accomodation, rotations, helis etc) not to mention a great management team.
Are CHC still operating out of Luanda and if so what are they flying?
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Old 24th May 2007, 02:53
  #1793 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: In my house
Posts: 320

Heli Malongo is Chevron under their Angolan name in a partnership with Sonair.

They are basically taking the contract over to support their own rigs and platforms from PHI who have had it since 1967 or 1968. Like they do in the GOM, Chevron decided to take it in house.

It is also politically expedient in Angola to have a partnership with Sonangol in some form otherwise you can't do business long term.

They have new 427s and 430s I believe. You will live on a camp in Cabinda. 3 good meals per day and work and sleep. You can't leave the camp. not much to do when not working. You won't be able to have a drink (basically) while on your tour.

Some of the old PHI crews now work for Heli Malongo but can't comment on the management.
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Old 28th May 2007, 12:17
  #1794 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Jankara
Age: 61
Posts: 377
Thumbs down Keep Your Head Down During The Transition

As the transition from the Government of Olusegun Obasanjo to that of Umara Yar'Adua gets closer, a spokesman allegedly talking on behalf of MEND has said that the 7 expatriates kidnapped on Friday will be killed. The following article appeared in the 'Daily Champion' newspaper today:

A prominent militant group, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Bayelsa State chapter has issued a 72- hour ultimatum to the Federal Government to release detained activist, Alhaji Asari Dokubo or risk the killing of seven expatriate oil workers abducted Friday, by militants in Akassa, Brass local government area of the state.

The expatriates comprising three Americans and four Britons working for Transcoastal, an oil servicing firm and a subsidiary of Conoil Nigeria Limited, are still in the custody of the militants, while one Nigerian, a South African and a Filipino kidnapped earlier, have regained their freedom.

Commander of MEND in the state, Mr. Joshua Makaira, issued the ultimatum in a statement made available to Daily Champion in Yenagoa, Saturday, just as he noted that an abducted Briton, Jeff Trewen has been in his custody, since May 5, this year, adding that the state government and employers of the oil worker have since been pleading for his release.

Makaira further warned that if the federal government fails to set Dokubo free, all the hostages in their captivity would be killed by May 29, when the incumbent administration is expected to hand over power.

Alhaji Dokubo-Asari, leader of the Niger Delta Peoples' Volunteer Force (NDPVF) has been in detention since November 2005 on charges of treason.

Makaira also alleged that his group has uncovered a plot to murder Dokubo in custody by poisoning, claiming that it was revealed to the detainee by his counsel.

He stated with emphasis that peace would no longer be guaranteed as total action would lead to the destruction of oil facilities located in the Niger Delta region.
This would be a major departure from MEND's previous policy of not killing hostages, so it seems unlikely, but if it happens it will signify a huge new escalation in the violence as many expatriates have justified staying in this dangerous area by saying that even if they are kidnapped, they will be released once a ransom has been paid.

If anyone is wondering why both CHC and Bristow are still short of pilots, maybe the threat of being unwittingly involved in the region's violence is a major factor. No matter how much money is on offer, it's not worth dying for. Neither company is offering enough to make it really worthwhile going to Nigeria unless there is also a genuine commitment to improving personal security. The security improvements made by both companies to date are mostly cosmetic. There need to be significant improvements in housing security and neither company has really got to grips with the most dangerous part of the average expat's day - the journey to work. In times such as these, with all employees spending their free time under curfew an internet connection becomes almost an essential, not a luxury, but neither company allows free internet access with a decent connection at the workplace, and those available in housing compounds range from pathetic to just adequate. Naturally, these things have a price and if the companies, or their client oil companes, are not willing to pay that price, then maybe they will have to consider pulling out. Both CHC and Bristow are North American companies and if they are unable to fulfil their codes of business ethics, including a reasonable duty of care for their employees' security they may have no option
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Old 29th May 2007, 10:20
  #1795 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Lost and Legless somewhere in LaLaLand
Age: 74
Posts: 481
Kidnappers Kidnapped

Mama Put,

I see that the story you quoted above has now taken another (strange) turn. MEND has kidnapped 5 members of Egbema One, the group which kidnapped 4 Americans working for a Chevron subsidiary, 3 weeks ago. MEND says that it does not believe in kidnapping for ransom and wants Egbema One to release the hostages or it will turn over the E1 members it kidnapped to the Joint Military Task Force . Egbema One is also known as the Niger Delta Defence Force and has denied demanding a ransom for the hostages, saying that it had demanded that Chevron sign an agreement on economic development of their area. They claim that any further attempt to rescue the hostages will result in a bloodbath.

Meanwhile, today Umaru Yar'Adua will be sworn in as the new President of Nigeria in the first civil transition of power in the country's history. Yar'Adua is also different in that he is not a retired military man (though his late brother was a close friend of the outgoing president Obasanjo).

From his pronouncements so far, it does not seem likely that Yar'Adua has developed any more of a strategy for solving the problems in the Delta than his predecessor. His vice president was supposed to help in this respect because he was previously governor of Bayelsa State, which is where many of the militants operate from. So far the omens are not good, as his country home was bombed and he has already been targetted in an assassination attempt. Maybe neither of them have heard the latest militant joke, 'It is the government's never-ending claim that "plans are in the pipeline" to develop their region, that led them to start blowing up the pipes to look for these plans'.

The elections have been widely condemned by European and American governments because of widespread poll rigging and even neighbouring African governments have been lukewarm in their comments. This probably explains why only a couple of African heads of state are attending and the UK and USA have sent only junior envoys.

According to reuters, Yar'Adua's biggest challenge will be how he handles Obasanjo, who seems determined to prolong his rule by controlling the man seen by many as merely his puppet:

But perhaps the biggest test will be how he handles Obasanjo, who picked Yar'Adua from obscurity six months ago, made him president and now seems determined to show him who is boss.
In the dying days of his administration, Obasanjo has raised fuel prices by 15 percent, doubled value-added tax and sold off two oil refineries to his business allies -- all moves that have inflamed the opposition and civil society groups.
"I wish Yar'Adua could have had a honeymoon before facing the hard knocks of policy decisions, but he will be fighting many fires on the domestic front," said Bolaji Akinyemi, a former foreign minister.
Behind the scenes, Obasanjo has also taken some delicate decisions that would normally have been made by the new government, such as reshuffling army top brass and nominating National Assembly leaders.
Obasanjo automatically assumes chairmanship of the ruling party when he steps down and has said he expects the party to determine policy while the government implements it. Yar'Adua has said the party has a role to play but he derives his powers from the constitution.
Many Nigerians hope Yar'Adua will break free from his predecessor, whom critics accuse of hypocrisy in his war on corruption and cronyism.
So far today, Nigeria is quite calm and like everyone here I hope that the new leader will take urgent and decisive action to get the situation in the Niger Delta under control - but I'm definitely not holding my breath
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Old 29th May 2007, 20:36
  #1796 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Lagos
Posts: 245
Question Chc 8/4 Nigeria?

A friend flying fixed wing for CHC from Lagos tells me that there is talk of pilots there being forced onto a temporary 8/4 roster instead of their contracted 6/6 due to crew shortages. Whilst it may be the only way they can crew aircraft I can't see it being popular. Any rumours of this spreading to their rotary wing pilots too? Bristow are also short of pilots, but maybe they'll get even more 'crossing the line' if that were to happen. I'd have thought paying a very high workover rate to tide them over shortages would be more popular, unless they tried that already and didn't get the volunteers they needed. Interesting times
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Old 31st May 2007, 09:56
  #1797 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 201
Thumbs up Good Luck To Yar'adua

Well, despite many dire predictions, the first handover of power from one civilian government to another has happened in Nigeria (though one could scarcely say that it was transferred from one democratically elected government to another in view of the poll rigging )

I see that at least 4 of the previous State Governors, their immunity from prosecution finished with their term in office, are now on the run before they are arrested by the EFCC. Even the failed Presidential candidate Atiku Abibakar is reported to have left the country. It's unlikely any of these men will be brought to trial for stealing the poeple's money. The majority of the former 36 State Governors' are being investigated by the EFCC, so it's good to see that President Yar'Adua is one of the few with a clean record. He's got a tough job ahead of him if he's going to make any of the radical changes needed to restore law and order and stamp out corruption. For example Tombia, a small town near Port Harcourt, 15 people were reported killed yesterday. Apparently one group of local thugs, unhappy with the bribes they had been paid to rig the recent elections were making threats, so another group of local thugs were armed and paid to go and sort them out! This is a fairly routine happening in Rivers State these days.

For the sake of all my friends still flying in Nigeria, I wish the best to the new President. I had a long and enjoyable time there and I'd like to think that future generations will be able to go their for an enjoyable career, rather than tolerating dangerous conditions just because they need the money.
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Old 31st May 2007, 10:14
  #1798 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Here and there...
Age: 55
Posts: 854
"I had a long and enjoyable time there and I'd like to think that future generations will be able to go their for an enjoyable career, rather than tolerating dangerous conditions just because they need the money."

Well put, Mama! I strongly second that, too.
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Old 4th Jun 2007, 09:14
  #1799 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Jankara
Age: 61
Posts: 377
Thumbs down Nigerian Violence Spreads Further Afield


Sadly it seems that things in Nigeria will get worse before they get better. Families, including women and children are now being kidnapped. The violence is spreading further afield as the latest kidnappings have happened at the Eleme Petrochemical plant and the Ikot Abasi Auminium smelting plant. Eleme was recently (and controversially) sold to an Indonesian company and Ikit Abasi to a Russian company. In both cases attacks were made on the residential areas, using dynamite to blast in through the walls. The lack of any immediate, decisive action by a new President who is perceived by many as a puppet, installed after a flawed vote, can only encourage more widespread violence in southeastern Nigeria
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Old 5th Jun 2007, 00:03
  #1800 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 690
ACN / CHC forced to 8/4? Wow they must have lost a lot of crew.

I believe CHC Global are now seeking 212 pilots for Nigeria. Is it true that the last Bristow 212 in Nigeria has been sold to ACN?
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