Explosion: One dead, seven workers still missing – Oil firm 

The management of Shebah Exploration & Production Company Ltd (in RECEIVERSHIP) has announced that three of its crew members who got missing after an explosion that rocked the FPSO Trinity Spirit at the Ukpokiti Terminal in the early hours of Wednesday have been found alive while one is dead and seven still missing.

The Chief Executive Officer, SEPCOL, Ikemefuna Okafor, made this known in a statement issued on Sunday and titled ‘Update on Missing Crew Members from Fire Incident on Trinity Spirit FPSO.’

SEPCOL had on Thursday announced that its offshore facility, the FPSO Trinity Spirit, located at the Ukpokiti Terminal, near Escravos, was engulfed by fire, following an explosion in the early hours of Wednesday.

The facility, which serves as the primary production facility for Oil Mining Lease 108 located offshore in the western Niger Delta, has a processing capacity of 22,000 barrels per day and a storage capacity of 2 million barrels, the company said on its website.

Okafor had in a statement said, “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 crewmen on board the vessel prior to the incident and we are prioritising investigations with respect to their safety and security.”

Giving an update on the incident on Sunday, Okafor said, “We can confirm that three crew members have been found alive in the community and our priority is to ensure that they receive the appropriate medical attention they need.

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“Furthermore, in the early hours of Sunday 6th February 2022, one dead body was discovered in the vicinity of the FPSO. The identity of the dead body is yet to be ascertained.”

The CEO added, “As earlier confirmed, the fire burnt out completely as of Thursday afternoon, 3rd Feb. 2022, thus enabling closer inspection of the vessel. A Joint Investigation Visit with the relevant authorities, stakeholders and expert organisations took place on Saturday, 5th February, 2022.

“The focus of our joint efforts is to prioritise investigations towards establishing the whereabouts, safety, and security of the seven crew members still missing, clean up and limit damage to the environment, and establish the cause of the explosion.”

SEPCOL expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the Clean Nigeria Associates, the Chevron team, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency “and people in the community, particularly the fishermen, who have been of immense assistance since the incident occurred.”

Okafor added, “Members of the public should continue to keep away from the area while our Crisis Management Team monitors developments in the investigations and updates all stakeholders with new information accordingly.”

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