Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) announces new Chief Executive


Oil Spill Response Limited - New CEO

Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) is pleased to announce the appointment of Robert Limb as the Company’s new Chief Executive, effective from 5 April 2013. This follows the departure of outgoing CEO Archie Smith who looks to retirement after 18 years' remarkable service with OSRL.


Robert is an accomplished international business leader whose career has been spent within the oil and gas services sector including 25 years with Baker Hughes Inc. He has operated at Board level in roles with Total Safety and Aibel Group where he managed the international business of the group headquartered in Norway. Most recently in his role as Senior VP of Total Safety Inc., Robert managed the company’s international business growth strategy, developing operations in Algeria, Australia, Iraq and Morocco. Robert is already very familiar with the Shareholders and customers of OSRL and understands the significant drivers of customer service for this sector. Highly experienced in change and growth management, Robert brings a wealth of international and cultural experience that will undoubtedly prove to be a great asset to OSRL as the business continues to grow and diversify.

As incoming Chief Executive, Robert intends to focus on the following key deliverables during 2013:

  • Global deployment of the Subsea Well Intervention Service (SWIS) to include establishment of new bases in Singapore, South Africa and Brazil.
  • Establishment of the Global Dispersant Stockpile
  • Delivery and deployment of the new Boeing 727 aircraft dispersant spray platform
  • Deployment of the new UKCS Dornier surveillance aircraft
  • Full integration of Clean Caribbean and Americas (CCA) into OSRL’s global operations
  • Enhanced co-operation amongst the wider oil spill response community as an active member of the Global Response Network (GRN)


OSRL Chairman Jon Lay says, “The nature of oil spill response organisations has evolved significantly in recent years to meet the growing expectations of industry which has had to demonstrate increased responsiveness in light of the oil spill issues and challenges identified. Robert possesses a strong mix of knowledge, background and skills and we are fortunate to have found an individual of his calibre to carry on the outstanding work achieved during Archie’s tenure.”


OSRL welcomes Robert and wishes him every success in his role as the Company’s new Chief Executive.

Oil Spill Response Limited - New CEO
Robert delivering a speech during an inauguration ceremony to unveil new subsea capping equipment
Oil Spill Response Limited is wholly owned by the most responsible and environmentally committed oil and energy companies
Interim Guidelines
for Owners, Operators and Masters for protection against
piracy in the Gulf of Guinea region
(To be read in conjunction with BMP4)
1. Introduction
Piracy and armed robbery (hereafter referred to as piracy) in the Gulf of Guinea
region is an established criminal activity and is of increasing concern to the
maritime sector. With recent attacks becoming more widespread and violent,
industry has now identified an urgent need to issue these Guidelines.
Although piracy in the Gulf of Guinea region in many ways differs from that of
Somalia based piracy, large sections of the Best Management Practices already
developed by industry to help protect against Somalia based piracy are also valid in
the Gulf of Guinea region. Consequently, these interim Guidelines aim to bridge the
gap between the advice currently found in BMP4 and the prevailing situation in the
Gulf of Guinea region. Consequently, these guidelines should be read in conjunction
with BMP4 and will make reference to BMP4 where relevant.
These interim Guidelines have been developed by BIMCO, ICS, INTERCARGO and
INTERTANKO, and are supported by NATO Shipping Centre. A soft copy of BMP4
can be found on the websites of these organisations.
2. Area for consideration
Pirates in the Gulf of Guinea are flexible in their operations so it is difficult to predict
a precise area of falling victim to piracy. As of 28 March 2012 the London Market’s
Joint War Committee defines the following ‘Listed Areas for Hull War, Piracy,
Terrorism and Related Perils’ for the Gulf of Guinea:
• The territorial waters of Benin and Nigeria, plus
• Nigerian Exclusive Economic Zone north of latitude 3º N, plus
• Beninese Exclusive Economic Zones north of latitude 3º N.
However, recent incidents suggest that the area is liable to change. For the purpose
of this interim Guidance the area off the coasts of Nigeria, Togo or Benin can be
regarded as an area in which the counter-piracy management practises should be
3. Risk Assessment
For the purpose of identifying suitable measures of prevention, mitigation and
recovery in case of piracy, a ship and voyage specific risk assessment as
recommended in Section 3 of BMP4 should be carried out prior to entering the
above described area.
Not unlike the Ship Security Assessment described in the ISPS Code, the risk
assessment should include, but may not be limited to, the following:
The threat (who are the pirates, what do they want to achieve, how do they
attack, how do they board, which weapons do they use etc.?)
Background factors shaping the situation (visibility, sea-state, traffic patterns
e.g. other commercial ships, fishermen and human traffickers etc.)
Possibilities for co-operation with military (escorting, employment of Vessel
Protection Detachments, registering with authorities etc.)
The ship’s characteristics/vulnerabilities/inherent capabilities to withstand the
threat (freeboard, speed, general arrangement etc.)
Ship’s procedures (drills, watch rosters, chain of command, decision making
processes etc.)
In addition to the information found in this document, supplementary information
about the characteristics of the threat and regional background factors may be
sought with IMB, commercial intelligence providers or local sources e.g. ship’s
As also mentioned in BMP4, the risk assessment should take into consideration any
statutory requirements in particular those of the flag state and/or the coastal state.
Other requirements dictated by company and insurance policies should also be
taken into consideration.
The risk assessment process
Much of this risk assessment already exists in BMP4, since it provides an overall list
of which actions to take to defend against pirate attack. However, the guidance in
BMP4 must be transformed into specific actions to take and self-defence measures
to apply on a ship-by-ship and voyage-by-voyage basis. For example, many pirate
attacks in the Gulf of Guinea region occur whilst ships are at anchor or drifting, in
which case BMP4 self-defence measures like ‘evasive manoeuvres’ are not really
applicable. Thus, the risk assessment must reflect the prevailing characteristics of
the specific voyage and ship, and not just be a “recycling” of advice relating to a
different geographical region and a different pirate modus operandi.
4. Typical Pirate Attacks
Pirate activity within the Gulf of Guinea can be split broadly into the following
• Armed Robbery – In general this is opportunistic, is becoming increasingly
violent, and occurs where vessels are approaching, drifting or anchored off
ports. There have been instances across the Gulf of Guinea Region e.g. off
Lagos, in Port Harcourt, Bonny River, Cotonou and Lome. For the most part
the intention is to take valuables from the safe, IT equipment, and personal
• Cargo theft – This predominantly occurs in the STS transfer areas off
Cotonou, Lagos, and Lome, and is almost exclusively related to product and
chemical tankers. Vessels are hijacked for several days and cargo is
transferred to a smaller vessel. These incidents tend to be well-organized
potentially involving a criminal element with commercial interests ashore.
Recent cargo thefts have demonstrated that pirates often have a maritime
know-how allowing them to disable communications, operate the cargo
system etc.
• Kidnapping – generally associated with the offshore oil industry and the
political instability of the Niger Delta area. There are several instances of
offshore supply vessels and occasionally other ship types being attacked.
Robbery is often the prime objective but occasional kidnapping of crew
members can occur.
Pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea region often share similar characteristics to
those of Somalia based pirates (see BMP 4 Section 4), but there are some key
differences. For example, at this point in time, the Gulf of Guinea ‘pirate business
model’ does not primarily involve kidnap for ransom therefore the crew of a ship
does not in itself represent the ‘value’. Generally speaking pirates in the Gulf of
Guinea are more violent than their Somalia based colleagues.
The main threat is from approaches made by high-powered speedboats, and a
recent incident involved a speedboat launched from an unidentified mothership.
The risk of falling victim of a pirate attack is particularly high when the ship is at
anchor or is drifting off a port e.g. close to pilot station. Another vulnerable
situation is when conducting STS operations and the two ships are adrift and
moored alongside each other.
For the tanker sector, cargo theft results in stolen oil products being sold in the
region. For the dry cargo and other sectors, violent robbery is more common.
Attacks, both outside and inside territorial waters, appear to be the result of
intelligence-led planning by the pirates, with particular products such as gasoil or
gasoline being targeted in very well coordinated and executed operations.
Companies and ships operating regularly in the region are likely to be at increased
risk of falling subject to pirate intelligence collection operations and subsequent
pirate attack.
The following important advice should be noted:
Minimize use of VHF and use email or secure satellite telephone instead.
Where possible only answer known or legitimate callers on the VHF, bearing
in mind that imposters are likely and may even appear in uniform.
Communications with external parties should be kept to a minimum, with
close attention paid to organizing rendezvous points and waiting positions.
For email correspondence to Agents, Charterers, Chandlers etc. it is strongly
recommended that address lists are controlled and that information within
the email is concise, containing the minimum that is legally required in order
to fulfil requirements or contractual obligations.
Vessels should avoid tendering the Notice of Readiness when not
immediately conducting cargo operations. Contractual arrangements should
be put in place with a view to keeping vessels out of harm’s way.
Know your agents and avoid or minimize requirements where possible.
Unnecessary interaction with other parties creates opportunities for
information regarding the vessel’s position to be compromised.
If the ship trades regularly in the region it is recommended to alter
arrangements once in a while to make it harder for criminals to predict where
operations might take place.
The greatest risks of piracy are at night and these need to be factored into all
planning. Where possible, operations should start and end during daylight
5. Ship Movement Reporting Procedures
Although this may change in future, at present there is no centralised ship
movement reporting procedure in place in the Gulf of Guinea region, however,
individual flag states may have their own national ship movement reporting
Any flag state reporting requirements should be clarified and complied with.
6. Company Planning
The Gulf of Guinea is not subject to an established policing mechanism by
international navies, and neither the UKMTO nor MSCHOA play a role in the region.
Company planning procedures outlined in Section 6 of BMP4 should be applied in
the Gulf of Guinea.
In terms of the availability of armed escort vessels, the Nigerian military are known
to offer licenses to certain companies to employ government police and military
personnel on board their escort vessels.
Likewise, some agents offer government police and military personnel as armed
guards for deployment on board merchant ships. Such services should only be
contracted if a requirement exists following the risk assessment, and only as a
supplement to ship protection measures outlined in BMP4.
Using private armed guards in the Gulf of Guinea region is much more problematic
than off Somalia, owing to the complex patchwork of legal, security, administrative,
command and control interests that needs to be addressed and the following should
be considered:
Care should be exercised when using private armed guards, as they are
prevented by law from operating inside territorial waters of coastal states
in the region, and authorities are known to enforce these regulations
Local or Government forces should only be used if they are legitimate,
understood and trusted.
7. Master’s Planning
Many of the Master’s planning procedures described in Section 7 of BMP4 also apply
to the Gulf of Guinea, although there are no Group Transit schemes or national
convoys. Given the modus operandi of the pirates operating in the Gulf of Guinea
region, the Master should plan according to the following:
Rendezvous - Where possible, avoid waiting and slow steaming. Consider
offering several alternative rendezvous points and advice rendezvous
points at the last minute. If waiting, keep well off the coast (up to
200nm). Do not give away waiting positions.
Anchoring - Where practicable, a prolonged stay at anchorage is to be
8. Ship Protection Measures
The ship protection measures described in Section 8 of BMP4 also apply in the Gulf
of Guinea. When STS operations are expected to be conducted, extra attention
should be paid to the use of physical protection measures. Although barbed wire
can potentially make it very difficult to complete an STS operation, other protection
measures should be considered to protect the ship from attack in these cases.
Vessel hardening is likely to be quite effective in this region and a moving
ship also makes an effective deterrent since, unlike Somalia based pirates,
ladders are not often used to board ships.
During STS operations or when adrift, equipment such as fenders, anchor
chains and hawse pipes can potentially provide a vulnerable point of access
for attackers, and entry should be physically blocked.
Pirates detect and target vessels by sight and by the use of AIS. Therefore
limit the use of lighting at night and reduce the power or turn off AIS.
Unfortunately, this has a major drawback in that it may reduce the likelihood
of an intervention by ‘friendly forces’ if attacked. Consequently, AIS must
be switched on immediately if the ship is boarded.
9. Pirate Attack
The guidelines in BMP4 Section 9 are applicable with the exception of the role
described for the UKMTO and MSCHOA.
In the event of a pirate attack in the Gulf of Guinea, the best way of alerting the
local authorities of an attack is via the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination
Centre (RMRCC) in Lagos. This centre is run by the Nigerian Maritime
Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and can be contacted via details
shown in Section 13 of this Guidance.
When contacted, the Lagos RMRCC will alert the military and/or coast guard forces
in the region who will initiate a response if the necessary resources are available at
the time of the alert.
10. If Pirates Take Control
The advice in Section 10 of BMP4 is also applicable, again with the exception that
UKMTO does not play a role in the Gulf of Guinea. Instead Lagos RMRCC should be
As previously mentioned the pirates operating in the Gulf of Guinea often use
violence in order to subdue the crew. Therefore it is extremely important not to
engage in a fight with the pirates, because this will entail great risk of the crew
getting hurt or killed. NB: Records exist of an incident where an on-board naval
guard detachment engaged in gun battle with attacking pirates leading to the killing
of two navy personnel, and the kidnap for ransom of the remaining crew.
Violent shipboard robberies can take place as a result of a previously unsuccessful
attack on another vessel. Therefore:
Great care needs to be taken if your ship is boarded, as life is little valued by
robbers. Compliance/submission to attackers is essential once a vessel has
been taken.
Generally minimizing cash carried will make vessels less attractive in the
longer run.
11. In the Event of Military Action
Section 11 of BMP4 fully applies.
12. Post Incident Reporting
Section 12 of BMP4 and the related Annexes containing reporting formats also
apply in the Gulf of Guinea, however with the exception of involving the UKMTO and
MSCHOA in the reporting.
As described in BMP4, all piracy incidents should be reported to the IMB in
accordance with Annex A to this Guidance (for contact details, see Section
The relevant reporting format can be found in Annex A.
13. Contact details
Lagos Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (RMRCC).
The following emergency numbers are manned on a 24/7 basis:
• Mobile: +234 (0) 803 068 5167.
(Leave out the (0) when calling from outside Nigeria).
• Land line: +234 (1) 730 6618.
(Include the (1) when calling outside Lagos, and also include +234 when
calling outside Nigeria).
International Maritime Bureau – IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC)
ICC IMB (Asia Regional Office),
PO Box 12559,
Kuala Lumpur,
Tel: + 60 3 2078 5763
Fax: + 60 3 2078 5769
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
24 Hours Anti Piracy HELPLINE Tel: + 60 3 2031 0014
General Details
01 Name of Ship:
02 IMO No:
03 Flag:
04 Call Sign:
05 Type of Ship:
06 Tonnages:
07 Owner’s (Address & Contact Details):
08 Manager’s (Address & Contact Details):
09 Last Port/Next Port:
10 Cargo Details: (Type/Quantity)
Details of Incident
11 Date & Time of Incident:
12 Position:
Lat: (N/S)
Long: (E/W)
13 Nearest Land Mark/Location:
14 Port/Town/Anchorage Area:
15 Country/Nearest Country:
16 Status (Berth/Anchored/Steaming):
17 Own Ship’s Speed:
18 Ship’s Freeboard During Attack:
19 Weather During Attack (Rain/Fog/Mist/Clear/etc, Wind (Speed and Direction),
Sea/Swell Height):
20 Types of Attack (Boarded/Attempted):
21 Consequences for Crew, Ship and Cargo:
Any Crew Injured/Killed:
Items/Cash Stolen:
22 Area of the Ship being Attacked:
23 Last Observed Movements of Pirates/Suspect Craft:
24 Type of vessel (Whaler, Dhow, Fishing Vessel, Merchant Vessel)
25 Description of vessel (Colour, Name, Distinguishing Features)
26 Course and Speed of vessel when sighted
Details of Raiding Party
27 Number of Pirates/Robbers:
28 Dress/Physical Appearance:
29 Language Spoken:
30 Weapons Used:
31 Distinctive Details:
32 Craft Used:
33 Method of Approach:
34 Duration of Attack:
35 Aggressive/Violent:
Further Details
36 Action Taken by Master and Crew and its effectiveness:
37 Was Incident Reported to the Coastal Authority? If so, to whom?
38 Preferred Communications with Reporting Ship:
Appropriate Coast Radio Station/HF/MF/VHF/INMARSAT
IDS (Plus Ocean Region Code)/MMSI
39 Action Taken by the Authorities:
40 Number of Crew/Nationality:
41 Please attach with this Report – A Brief Description/Full Report/Master – Crew
Statement of the Attack/Photographs taken if any.
42 Details of Self Protection Measures.


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