An explosion caused the destruction of a floating Nigerian production, storage and offloading vessel. Fears grew about its fate and the fates of its crew.
Multiple news reports indicate that the blast struck OML 108, where the Trinity Spirit FPSO was located. It was operated by Shebah E&P company Ltd (Sepcol), multiple news reports state.
Reuters quoted Ikemefuna, Sepcol’s chief executive, today as saying: While there have been no reports of fatalities, we can confirm that there was at least 10 crewmen on the vessel before the incident. We are prioritising safety investigations.
Here is a video clip from the incident:
Okafor stated that investigations are ongoing into the cause of the explosion and that efforts to contain the situation were being made by nearby communities, fishermen Clean Nigeria Associates, Chevron, which manages the nearby Escravos facility.
Reuters reported that Sepcol is currently under receivership, a type of bankruptcy protection.
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The FPSO is located in 80 feet of water and can produce 22,000 barrels of oil per day. It can also store up to 2,000,000 barrels.
Although it is not clear how many barrels were stored on board before the incident, there are growing concerns about the potential impact of an oil spillage.
One source in Nigeria who was familiar with the FPSO said that it had about 200,000 barrels at one point during the incident. However this could not be confirmed.
According to VesselsValue data Alliance Marine Services (AMS), Houston-based, is the beneficial owner of FPSO. Allenne Ltd is the registered owner.
Liberia-flagged floaters’ origins date back to the mid-1970s, when it was built in Japan as an oil tanker. It was then converted to an FPSO in 1978 to be used in Nigeria.
It has been called many names since then, including Independence, Ukpokiti, Venture Independence, Independence, Ukpokiti, and FPSO Independence, before finally being renamed the Trinity Spirit.
Upstream could not contact Shebah while AMS did not respond to a request for a statement.
Shebah owns a 40% stake at OML 108.