An oil production and storage vessel has exploded off the Nigerian Coast with 10 crew members on board. Trinity Spirit, a Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel by Sheba Exploration and Production Company limited (SEPCOL) was engulfed by flames near Warri in Southern Nigeria. The vessel could process up to 22000 barrels of crude a day and store about 2 million barrels.
“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 prioritizing investigations with respect to their safety and security,” SEPCOL Chief Executive Ikemefuna Okafor said in a statement after the incident.
SEPCOL, which is currently under receivership has said it had notified authorities of the explosion who had started investigating the cause of the explosion. Okafor further added that attempts to contain the situation were being made with help from local communities and U.S. oil company Chevron, which has a facility near the locality where the unfortunate incident occurred.
This is the second such case with the first being barely two months ago when a wellhead belonging to Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company blew up in November 2021 in Nembe, Bayelsa State of Nigeria.
Reports further said some inhabitants of the area where the unfortunate explosion occurred are afraid that their livelihood would be negatively affected as the marine ecosystem was badly destroyed. It is still unclear how much crude oil was being held on the Trinity Spirit, with data published by Nigeria’s state-owned energy company showing no production from Shebah’s permit in 2020/2021