Latest Nigerian oil spill highlights ‘wretched’ state of the industry

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The Trinity Spirit, a floating production, storage and offloading vessel, caught fire off the coast of Nigeria. Seven of 10 crew members were killed. The government’s National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) initially said no oil was spilled, but has since modified that to say that oil would not spread to the shore.

Nigeria’s environment minister, Sharon Ikeazor, said the vessel, known in industry parlance as an FPSO, was anchored in shallow waters at the Ukpokiti oil terminal, on the western edge of the Niger Delta, when there was an explosion on board. Videos posted on social media showed the ship partly submerged, with thick black smoke curling skyward.

The vessel is capable of storing up to 2 million barrels of oil, but is believed to have had between 50,000 and 60,000 barrels of crude on board at the time. Trinity Spirit’s owner, Nigeria’s Shebah Exploration and Production Company Ltd. (SEPCOL), said there were 10 crew members on board when the explosion occurred; three survivors were rescued and four bodies had been recovered by Feb. 16.

On Feb. 17, Idris Musa, director-general of NOSDRA, said officials have been monitoring the area around the ship since the explosion, applying dispersant to oil slicks. “They are not likely going to find any oil along the shoreline. We are still doing overflight till now to monitor from up,” he told media.

Growing concern The explosion is the second major incident reported by Nigeria’s often volatile…This article was originally published on Mongabay


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