10 feared dead as oil vessel explodes in Delta

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At least 10 oil workers are feared dead as a result of an explosion that occured onboard a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) unit belonging to Shebah Exploration and Production Company Limited (SEPCOL) located in Escravos area of Delta State

Those affected are Seafarers and project crew who were working onboard the FPSO as at the time of explosion.

Multiple sources said the vessel produce crude oil and it is said to be situated around Meren, a North field oil facility belonging to multinational oil and gas in Escravos area of Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.

It was learnt that the explosion has allegedly caused serious fear among workers manning other oil facilities close by as they watched helplessly as fire continued to raze the facility.

It was also learnt that local fishermen were the first rescuers to arrive the area but that the intensity of the fire prevented them from going anywhere close to the scene.

A source who do not wish to be named said as at 4:00am on Thursday, emergency workers of Chevron and other multinational oil company whose facilities were close by tried to help out.

But in a swift reaction, the Management of SEPCOL said it received with shock the unfortunate incident.

A statement signed the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, Ikemefuna Okafor, said in receivership announced the unfortunate incident of fire that engulfed their offshore facility.

“In RECEIVERSHIP hereby announce 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 ten crew men on board the vessel prior to the incident and we are prioritising investigations with respect to their safety and security.

“We appreciate the assistance provided us by the Clean Nigeria Associates, the Chevron team operating in the nearby Escravos facility and our community stakeholders as well as fishermen, who have been of tremendous assistance since the incident happened.

“We have duly notified all relevant authorities and we appeal to the members of the public to stay away from the area while our Crisis Management Team continue to monitor the situation and update all stakeholders with new information as the investigation evolves” he added.