Three feared dead, seven missing in Delta floating vessel explosion

2022-02-04
THE GUARDIAN Newspaper

Three persons were feared dead, while seven other workers were missing aboard a Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel after it exploded at about 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday at the Ukpokiti terminal, Escravos, Warri South-West council of Delta State.

According to community sources, three persons died while seven persons are still missing in the sudden explosion, however, the owners of the asset, Shebah Exploration and Production Company Limited (SEPCOL) said there was “no reported fatalities” but that 10 workers were on board the vessel when it exploded, in a statement it issued yesterday.

The FPSO named Trinity Spirit has a capacity to process up to 22,000 barrels of oil per day, inject up to 40,000 barrels of water per day and store two million barrels of oil.

SEPCOL, it was gathered, is owned by a combination of Nigerian and overseas corporate entities, which include: Abbeycourt Trading Company Limited (ATCO), Abbeycourt Petroleum Company Limited and Allenne Limited.

The FPSO serves as the primary production facility for OML 108 and is also a government-approved terminal for lifting operations for all OML 108 productions.

The Chief Executive Officer, Shebah Exploration and Production Company Ltd, Ikemefuna Okafor, in a statement obtained by The Guardian confirmed the incident, but did not provide details as to the cause of the explosion and casualties.

He said: “Fire Incident On The Trinity Spirit FPSO, 10 crew members were aboard the FPSO as at time of explosion. The management of SEPCOL in receivership, hereby announces the unfortunate incident of a fire that engulfed our offshore facility, the FPSO Trinity Spirit located at the Ukpokiti Teminal, following an explosion during the early hours of Wednesday, February 2, 2022.

The cause of the explosion is currently being investigated and we are working with necessary parties to contain the situation.

“At this time there are no reported fatalities, but we can confirm that there were 10 crew men on board the vessel prior to the incident and we are prioritising investigations with respect to their safety and security, “Okafor said.

He explained that the firm has duly notified all relevant authorities and appealed to members of the public to stay away from the area while their crisis management team continues to monitor the situation and update all stakeholders with new information as the investigation evolves.

SEPCOL expressed gratitude to the Clean Nigeria Associates (CNA), the Chevron team operating in the nearby Escravos facility and its community stakeholders as well as fishermen, who it said had been of tremendous assistance since the incident happened.

 

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