Middle East

FPSO explodes off Nigeria

The oil production and storage vessel exploded off the coast of Nigeria early Wednesday, with 10 crew members on board, but it is not yet clear if there were any casualties or how much crude oil was spilled into the sea. did.

Nigeria’s Shebah Exploration & Production Company Ltd (SEPCOL) said Thursday that after the blast the day before, the flames swallowed the Trinity Spirit’s floating production, storage and unloading (FPSO) vessels.

In a statement, SEPCOL Chief Executive Officer Go Ikeme said, “There are no reports of deaths at this time, but we were able to confirm that 10 crew members were on board before the accident, and it was safe. We prioritize the investigation of peace of mind. “

The SEPCOL website states that Trinity Spirit can process up to 22,000 barrels of oil per day and store up to 2 million barrels.

The vessel had about 50,000 barrels of storage, but did not pump crude oil from the Ukpokiti field in the OML108 block when it exploded, according to an industry source operating in Nigeria’s oil sector.

Nigerian regulators, now known as the Nigerian Upstream Oil Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), revoked the production license for OML 108 in 2019. The production license was held by consortium member Express Petroleum, while SEPCOL is the technical operator of the block.

The current trustee, SEPCOL, did not respond to a request for comment on how crude Trinity Spirit was stored at the time of the blast.

BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig pumped tens of thousands of barrels a day when it exploded in 2010. By the time the well was closed 87 days later, 4 million barrels of crude oil had flowed into the Gulf of Mexico, causing an environmental disaster.

“We got information about the fire yesterday and ordered the field officers to start the investigation immediately,” Gbenga Komorafe, CEO of NUPRC, told Reuters. “The investigation is still underway.”

“Only after receiving the report of this investigation from our team will we make a comprehensive statement without speculation,” he said.

SEPCOL’s Okafor says investigations are underway to determine the cause of the explosion and that attempts to contain the situation are being made with the help of the local community and the U.S. oil company Chevron, which has facilities nearby. Stated.

The Trinity Spirit is the main production facility for OML108, covering 750 square kilometers (290 square miles) of water from 30 meters to 213 meters deep off the Niger Delta, the SEPCOL website states.

(Reported by Tife Owolabi in Bayelsa, Camillus Eboh in Abuja, Julia Payne in London, written by MacDonald Dzirutwe, edited by David Clarke)



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