By Cecil Mensah
The Minister for Energy and Petroleum, Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Buah, has said that investigations into the May 8, helicopter crash at the offshore Cape three points, has revealed that three employees of Schlumberger survived the crash.
He said, the Navy and SMIT Salvage team have been engaged to provide sea bed search support using ROVs with Sonar capacity to salvage the remains of the helicopter for investigations.
SMIT, has over one hundred and seventy years experience in recovery of marine wrecks, he explained.
According to him, intended search has been put in place under the directives of the Ministry of Transport in collaboration with Ghana Petroleum Commission and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation to rescue the remains of the crash.
Briefing the media on the crash, the Minister and Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ellembele Constituency in the Western Region, accompanied by his two Deputies, John Abu Jinapor and Ben Dagadu and the Deputy Minister for Transport, Joyce Bawa Muntari said, the helicopter named ‘Black Hawk ‘ operated by the Voltage River Aviation limited crashed off Ghana’s coast in waters approximately four nautical miles south of Takoradi, the Western Regional capital.
He said, the helicopter contracted by Lukoil Overseers Ghana Limited, the operator of the Cape three points deep water block, was on a routine crew shuttle mission, transporting personnel to the Jack Ryan Oil rig with eight persons on board, when it was reported missing.
According to the Minister, the helicopter had undertaken two successful rotations earlier.
Giving details of the passengers on board, he said, Mr Pascal Jagut, was the pilot , Ejiofor Omesil, Samuel Sambo are all deceased.
And the survivors are, Ebenezer Ampofo, Godfred Amankwa with Micheal Ametepee, responding to treatment.
He noted that the dual voice and data recorder ,as well as parts of the wrecked helicopter, had been recovered and was hopeful that it will contribute immensely to the ongoing investigations regarding the crash.
Meanwhile, Mr Walter Agortimevor’s body which was washed ashore has being identified.
He said Walter’s family, had been properly briefed on the status of their son.
He added that the Government has given its full assurance to the recovery efforts through the relevant agencies.
The Minister took the opportunity to correct the impression created in the media that he had single handedly allocated an oil block to a Canadian based company.
He said the assertion is not only true, but malicious because there was a committee that is responsible for the allocation of oil blocks and these are Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General and the Energy.
He said the Committees do the assessment on the companies and it’s findings goes to Cabinet after which it goes back to Parliament for rectification.
So it cannot be true for a company to allege that i or any of my Deputies have allocated oil blocks to them, without going through all these channels.
He appealed to the media to desist from these conspiracy theories, as the Ministry was focused on rectifying the existing oil exploration laws, after forty years to benefit Ghanaians.