An Sharon Ikeazor, the Minister of Environment in Nigeria, said there were roughly 50,000 to 60,000 barrels of crude oil in the tanker that exploded off the country’s coast this week.
FPSO vessel Trinity Spirit was engulfed in flames following a blast on Wednesday, Shebah Exploration & Production Company Ltd (SEPCOL) said.
The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency has called oil industry operators and the Clean Nigeria Associates, a cooperative that responds to oil spill incidents, for support, said Ikeazor.
SEPCOL, in receivership, said it was cooperating with authorities to inspect the vessel after the fire burnt out, and a team has been launched to determine what caused the explosion.
There were no casualties, and SEPCOL said in a statement it is investigating the whereabouts and safety of the ten crew members who were on board.
Ikusemuya Igbekele, chairman of the local fishing community, said two bodies lay beside the vessel, and three crew members jumped into the sea with life jackets and were rushed to the hospital.
On Saturday, a group of government investigators toured the site of the incident but did not comment.
According to an industry source knowledgeable about the Trinity Spirit FPSO’s operations, other companies, including oil traders, have stored crude on the vessel, which has the capacity to produce 22,000 barrels per day and store 2 million barrels.
The Trinity Spirit is the primary production facility for OML 108, which covers a surface area of 750 square kilometres (290 square miles) off the coast of the Niger Delta, at a depth of 30 metres to 213 metres, according to SEPCOL’s website.
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