SEPCOL’s FPSO vessel explodes offshore

Oredola Adeola

Trinity Spirit, a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel exploded offshore around Escravos Warri South-West, Delta State on Wednesday reportedly killing 12 crew members onboard while others were wounded.

The FPSO vessel is operated by Shebah Exploration and Production Company Limited (SEPCOL).

Ikemefuna Okafor, Chief Executive Officer, Shebah Exploration and Production Company Ltd (in receivership), in a statement confirming the incident claimed that the fire was caused by an explosion.

He said, “10 crew members were onboard the facility when the incident occurred but had yet to be accounted for.

“The management of Shebah Exploration & Production Company Ltd (SEPCOL) in RECEIVERSHIP hereby announces the unfortunate incident of a fire that engulfed our offshore facility, the FPSO Trinity Spirit located at the Ukpokiti Terminal, following an explosion during the early hours of Wednesday, 2nd of February 2022,” the statement reads.

“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 crewmen 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.”

However ,
Bart A Harrison-Okafor, a sub-sea engineer , who was around scene of explosion confirmed the incident saying ”
It’s high time most of these vessels and FPSO’S on Nigerian waters and oil fields underwent a serious quality and safety audit.

You can’t have a tanker converted to FPSO without a proper safety fire and blast wall. What is their life span?. We can not have our people getting killed in numbers every year”

” It’s Very sad, our people want Local content, just for them to be able to control the jobs and the contract all together. But they don’t know there should be maintenance in the #local content opportunity that they have used to beguiled us.

” The worst of it is most of them do not bring out money for the so called #maintenance they also have the habit of perpetually owing both their staff and the subcontractors… It’s high time this was stopped.

“Almost every year we are having these avoidable incidents that have always led to great fatalities like this one,” the eyewitness concluded.

In 2004, SEPCOL acquired all of 40% of ConocoPhillips equity interest in OML 108 and by virtue of that acquisition became the technical operator of the block. Express Petroleum and Camac Limited own the remaining 60% equity interest on OML 108.

The FPSO Trinity Spirit serves as the primary production facility for the block. The Ukpokiti field was discovered in 1993, the licence was converted into oil mining lease (OML) 108 in 1996.

SEPCOL (now in receivership), is owned by a combination of Nigerian and overseas corporate entities including Abbeycourt Trading Company Limited (ATCO), Abbeycourt Petroleum Company Limited and Allenne Limited

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