Upstream Commission Begins Probe into SEPCOL FPSO Explosion

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) Thursday disclosed that it had commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the explosion of a Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel in Warri, Delta State.

The vessel with a capacity to process up to 22,000 barrels of oil per day, inject up to 40,000 barrels of water per day and store 2 million barrels of oil, had exploded and sunk at the Ukpokiti Terminal, around Excravos.

THISDAY checks showed that the huge facility, TRINITY SPIRIT was built in 1976 (46 years ago), with a carrying capacity of 274774 Dead Weight Tonnage (DWT) and overall length of 337.05 metres as well as a width of 54.5 metres.

The asset is owned by Shebah Exploration and Production Company Limited (SEPCOL), now in receivership, which in 2004 acquired all of 40 per cent of ConocoPhillips equity interest in OML 108.

In a statement signed by Mr Paul Osu, on behalf of the Gbenga Komolafe-led commission, the NUPRC stated that it was working closely with other relevant agencies of government to get to the root of the matter.

“NUPRC wishes to announce that an explosion leading to a major fire on an evacuation vessel at Ukpokiti field (OML 108) in Delta State was reported by our operations team on Wednesday 2nd February 2022.

“The commission in line with its statutory regulatory oversight of upstream petroleum operations in the Nigerian oil and gas industry has commenced investigations into the incident in conjunction with relevant stakeholders and will provide updates appropriately.

“There has been no report of any casualties or fatalities and the commission will take necessary measures to ensure that all safety and environmental measures in line with global best practices to safeguard lives and the environment are put in place,” it noted.

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