Offshore safety permit, Application, Renewal and Cost Implication

Offshore Safety Permit (OSP) is one of the permits issued by the DPR i.e. Department of Petroleum Resources in Nigeria. It is a permit created to help keep track of personnel working in onshore and offshore locations, managing installations owned and/or operated by Oil and Gas operators and contractors in Nigeria. 

The permit is referred to as a Personnel Accountability System (PAS) designed to account for and save the lives of the oil and gas workers through effective training in compliance with Minerals Oils (Safety) Regulations and International Codes, Standards and Best Practices.  

WHY IS THE OFFSHORE SAFETY PERMIT NECESSARY? 

Below are the reasons for the Offshore Safety Permit and what the DPR aims to achieve by this permit:

  1. To ensure that the right skills/competency mix of employees are deployed in the oil and gas industry.

  2. To ensure that basic safety and survival training is obtained prior to deployment.

  3. To enhance the dossier of oil and gas personnel details for the provision of Emergency Response functionality.

  4. To have real-time information on personnel movement to and from worksites.

  5. To ensure that personnel at worksites have the required medicals.

  6. To create a platform for managing immigration activities.

  7. For effective decision and policy making tool for the Nigerian oil and gas Industry.

  8. It also enables operators to manage personnel in case of mustering requirement during emergencies. 


TYPES OF OFFSHORE SAFETY PERMITS

There are Seven (7) types of offshore safety permits in which personnel intending to travel/work offshore /swamp may apply under. These are listed and explained below: –  

  1. Full Offshore Safety Permit: A Full Offshore Safety Permit is required for anyone who makes frequent trips to offshore facilities. 


  1. Travel Safely by Boat Offshore Safety Permit: Travel Safely by Boat Offshore Safety Permit may be issued if a passenger has completed the Travel Safely by Boat (TSbB) training as the mandatory internationally recognized safety survival offshore training.  In this instance, the passenger is limited to travel offshore by Boat only.


  1. Marine Crew Offshore Safety Permit: Due to the nature of work of Marine crew, i.e. working and living onboard a vessel, Marine crews are permitted to join the vessel at any of the marine contractors’ bases. The issuance of Offshore Safety Permit to Marine Crew shall be based on their Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers (STCW) training and Certificate of Competence. 


  1. Helicopter- only Offshore Safety Permit: The issuance of a Restricted Offshore Safety Permit for Helicopter-only travel is subject to meeting all the requirements of the DPR for OSP. Example of such roles are Helicopter pilot, onshore standby emergency workers, same day return personnel etc. Personnel with this category of OSP shall not be permitted to travel by boat or become regular offshore workers. 


  1. Infrequent Offshore Traveler Safety Permit: Infrequent Offshore Traveler Safety Permit is issued to personnel whose nature of work does not require them to work offshore regularly. This category of OSP cannot be used for more than four (4) return trips to offshore/swamp locations within a given year.


  1. One-Time Visit Offshore Safety Permit: This category of permit is to enable travelling and/or staying at offshore/swamp locations for personnel that may prefer to obtain the permit per visit to offshore/swamp location.


  1. Special Offshore Safety Permit: In exceptional circumstances a Special Offshore Safety Permit may be issued, subject to approval of the Director of Petroleum Resources. This is usually for visit to an offshore facility by State Dignitaries, Senior Company Managers and Directors, Government visitors and other VIPs. The application for Special Offshore Safety Permit to the Director shall indicate at the minimum, the name of personnel, designation/role, brief details of intended activity at the offshore/swamp location, intended travel date and travel destination.  


Note: An Operator/Facility Owner can ONLY be issued a maximum of twenty (20) free Special OSP cards with VIP status for any given year. Each of the VIP OSP cards shall be attached to a company and be valid for two (2) return trips in each year. Any additional Special OSP card shall attract the fee for One-time Visit OSP. 


MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS FOR OBTAINING OFFSHORE SAFETY PERMIT

All Personnel applying for the OSP under the first 6 types of OSP listed above, are required to meet the following requirements:

  1. Have a valid offshore medical certificate of fitness from designated medical facilities, clinics or hospitals in Nigeria. The medical examinations shall be in conformance with the requirements of the “Occupational Health Guideline and Standards for Medical Assessment of Fitness to Work in the Oil & Gas Industry in Nigeria”. Medical certificates obtained from facilities outside Nigeria shall need concurrence from a designated medical facility in Nigeria; 

  2. Have completed the required mandatory internationally recognized safety survival training as stipulated by DPR for Offshore/Swamp Travel. The training shall be conducted at DPR accredited 2 training centers. Safety survival training obtained from offshore training centers outside Nigeria shall be validated by DPR prior to its acceptance for OSP registration. 


  1. Non-Nigerian citizens working offshore must hold a valid work permit visa. A visiting visa is not acceptable; and


  1. Payment of the applicable fees. 


It is important to note that there are additional requirements for Special Offshore Safety Permit.


APPLICATION PROCESS FOR THE OFFSHORE SAFETY PERMIT

Step 1: Prepare List of all Offshore Personnel in your Company: The list is required to be in accordance with the OSP requirements listed above. 

Step 2: Payment and Submission of List: Pay into the DPR Account and obtain a receipt; thereafter, present the receipt and list of personnel and their details to West Atlantic Energy Nigeria Limited (WAEL). 

Step 3: Carry out Image Capture of all Personnel into the Database: WAEL representatives will facilitate the image capture of all person ell either at their office of at any other agreed location.

Step 4: Collection of Permit and Card Usage: Proceed to collect your permit from DPR or WAEL offices and ensure the use of your card at any embarkation/disembarkation point.

COST OF OBTAINING OFFSHORE SAFETY PERMIT IN NIGERIA

The official fees for the OSP are as follows:

  1. Regular offshore workers are required to pay a one-off payment of US$580(Fine Hundred and Eighty US Dollars only) per person. This is required to be paid in the first year as initial registration on the platform.

  2. Subsequent years after registration, each person is required to pay a subscription renewal fee of US$135 (One Hundred and Thirty Five US Dollars only).

  3. Where the Card is lost and an applicant seeks to replace the existing cared, he would be required to pay the sum of US$67 (Sixty Seven US Dollars only).

  4. One Time Offshore Visitors are required to pay the sum of US$200 (Two Hundred US Dollars only as One Time Offshore Visit Fee. This fee is valid for one time Return visit to offshore locations.


SIDE BRIEF

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