More Norwegian equipment on rig in occupied Western Sahara
The oil rig that this autumn will destroy the future of the Sahrawi population is not just equipped with components made by Norwegian company Aker Solutions. The rig is filled to the brim with equipment from National Oilwell Varco’s Norwegian plants – at a threefold greater value.
In March the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) revealed that Aker Solutions had delivered extremely vital parts to the rig Atwood Achiever, which is to be used in occupied Western Sahara. New revelations from Norwegian newspaper Fædrelandsvennen 9 April 2014 revealed that it is filled to the brim with equipment from the American Kristiansand-based firm National Oilwell Varco (NOV).
“Fædrelandsvennen has examined all of the equipment specifications for the ship. Aker Solutions is mentioned once, whereas NOV is listed 26 times. NOV has supplied almost the whole boring package at a cost of almost 1 billion Norwegian kroner (122 mill Euros). Aker has supplied parts of the riser system at a cost of 300 million Norwegian kroner. The cranes on deck are also from NOV,” Fædrelandsvennen reported.
NOV informs Fædrelandsvennen that they were not informed about the destination of the equipment. They also state that they now know only because it was taken up by the Norwegian media.
NOV states that the ship will not be served by its Norwegian branch.
“We follow Norwegian guidelines. This boring ship is an American customer and will be served from the USA,” Mr. Tor Henning Ramsfjord, Managing Director of NOV, told the newspaper.
They emphasize that they follow the recommendations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Like everyone else, we sympathize with the people there. But the equipment is no longer our property. We therefore have no possibility of determining where it is to be used,” Ramsfjord explained to Fædrelandsvennen.
NOV has production plants at several locations in Norway.
The Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara opposes the involvement.
Since 1975, three quarters of the territory of Western Sahara has been occupied by Morocco. A majority of the population is still living in refugee camps in Algeria. Those who remained in their homeland are subjected to serious harassment from the Moroccan occupiers. For more than 40 years the Sahrawis have been waiting for the fullfilment of their legitimate right to self-determination.
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