More Norwegian equipment on rig to 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.
Published: 12.05 - 2014 19:26Printer version    
In March the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) revealed that Norwegian multinational Aker Solutions had delivered vital parts to the rig Atwood Achiever, which is to be used in occupied Western Sahara later this year. Revelations from Norwegian newspaper Fædrelandsvennen 9 April 2014 revealed that it is filled to the brim with more Norwegian 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 where the rig was to end up. 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.

The Norwegian government urges companies to stay away from the territory due to matters of international law. NOV, on the other hand, 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.

Morocco's illegal oil drilling programme in the territory it has occupied will begin in October or November this year.




Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
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