Nigeria's Shebah Exploration & Production Co. Ltd. (SEPCOL), owner of the Trinity Spirit floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel, confirmed Feb. 3 that an explosion off the coast of Nigeria has left the fate of 10 crewmen in question, Reuters reported.
The FPSO, capable of processing 22,000 b/d of oil with storage for up to 2 million bbl, is said to have exploded the day prior at Ukpokiti oil field in the OML 108 block near the Escravos terminal close to the River Niger delta, according to local reports.
How much crude oil the vessel was storing is currently unknown, but it is unlikely that it was operating at full capacity or had full storage at the time of the incident, said Rystad Energy senior analyst Zhenying Wu in a prepared statement. SEPCOL is currently in receivership.
The vessel has likely not produced oil since 2019, and has been used solely for storage purposes, the analyst said.
While the explosion is not expected to alter short-term crude prices or Nigerian oil production—the maximum liquid production rate for the vessel is less than 2% of total Nigerian crude oil production based on 2021 levels of 1.3 million b/d—the primary concern is the potential environmental implications of the situation, the analyst continued.
The hull of the FPSO was originally built in 1976 and the latest upgrade took place in 1997, according to Rystad, which “is a cause for concern for other similar vessels and operations in Nigerian waters as they operate in a region with minimal regulations,” Zhenying Wu concluded.