In June 2023, Castor Vali Nigeria won a significant contract to provide a comprehensive suite of vessel services, project logistics and security for one of the largest deep water 3D seismic surveys undertaken in recent years within West Africa. Utilising our extensive local network and relationships, built over a decade operating in Nigeria, Castor Vali were the perfect candidate to provide in-house and on-the-ground support to this challenging project. Tasks included sourcing, outfitting, and managing a supply vessel to meet the unique needs of the survey vessel, her crew and our client.
Local Expertise in Project Management
During the planning phase of the project, Castor Vali’s in-depth knowledge of Nigeria became key and we were able to guide our client through the numerous and various competing requirements of getting a survey off the ground in what can be a complex regulatory environment. This multi-faceted support ranged from assisting with the temporary importation of the vessel and its equipment, arranging visas and work permits for the crew, arranging offshore safety training in-country, and vessel inspections by the authorities before arrival into Lagos. All these tasks were successfully completed to minimise delays on arrival.
Each port call for the project’s four support vessels is meticulously managed by our Lagos-based team, in collaboration with trusted local partners. Our robust infrastructure ensures that operations are carried out seamlessly and in compliance with all regulatory requirements. The complex nature of the project has required meticulous planning to execute multiple port calls, across different ports with myriad requirements to minimise time spent off prospect and provide maximum value to our client.
Before the client’s vessel arrival, a variety of preparatory measures were planned, coordinated and implemented by the full Castor Vali project team. This included ship-to-ship simulations for resupply, planned drills for offshore bunkering and transferring stores, and installation and rigging of all the equipment necessary for operations in the field, from bunker hoses to Yokohama fenders. Castor Vali also conducted its own audit of the vessels, as well as engaging third-party independent audits for verification. Additionally, we coordinated the bunker delivery and loading of our client’s stores and containers, ensuring a smooth transition into the project’s production phase.
Operational Excellence and Problem-Solving
With all project start-ups, there are inevitable challenges, and this survey was no exception. Castor Vali had to navigate the challenges of survey vessel delays, changes in regulation, managing the local authorities and securing a berth for the vessel in a crowded and busy port. However, Castor Vali’s extensive network and thorough planning resulted in heading off many of these difficulties before they could impact the project. Our local team’s dynamic approach meant that they could react speedily and flexibly to ensure a seamless clearance and offshore mobilisation, not just on time, but ahead of schedule.
Compliance with Local Content Requirements
In accordance with Nigeria’s mandatory local content laws, we have sourced a Nigerian-flagged and Nigerian-crewed supply vessel to provide everything the survey vessel needs, from fresh water and fuel to shipments and crew. Operating a Nigerian-crewed vessel gives local communities buy-in on projects in country and is another way in which Castor Vali is working to create opportunities in Nigeria.
Comprehensive Security Measures
Given the high-risk nature of offshore projects, piracy is a major concern. Castor Vali is tasked with providing a full suite of security services, including the deployment of ballistic-hulled escort vessels, with Maritime Security Officers onboard, and comprehensive offshore and onshore security coordination and management. Castor Vali only works with approved and audited vessel providers and is constantly monitoring the market to ensure the best possible level of service and safeguarding for our clients. This is achieved through a team of professionals trained and coordinated through Castor Vali’s local and global entities. This layered approach to security ensures the protection of our client’s personnel, their vessels, and the project.
Conclusion and Future Updates
Castor Vali is excited to be supporting this important project. Our experience and extensive network mean we can continue to add value above and beyond the scope of the project. Our team is fully engaged and committed to ensuring the survey’s success.
If you are interested to hear more about our range of security services across Africa, please do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org