Seven crew missing, three alive, one body found after SEPCOL fire
• 200,000 barrels of crude lost, says minister
The management of Shebah Exploration and Production Company (SEPCOL) in Receivership has revealed that three crewmembers from the Trinity Spirit Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel at the Ukpokiti Terminal that exploded, last Wednesday, have been found alive.
The disclosure is coming about four days after the inferno that engulfed the offshore oil facility in Delta State.
This was confirmed in a statement issued by the management of SEPCOL in Receivership, yesterday, where it said the three crew members were found alive in a yet-to-be-identified community.
Chief Executive Officer of SEPCOL, Ikemefuna Okafor, who pointed out that one yet-to-be-identified dead body was discovered at the facility, however, noted that the priority of the oil firm is to establish the whereabouts and safety of the seven that are still missing.
The statement partly reads: “We can confirm that three crew members have been found alive in the community and our priority is to ensure that they receive the appropriate medical attention they need.
“As earlier confirmed, the fire burnt out completely as of Thursday afternoon, February 3, 2022, thus, enabling closer inspection of the vessel. A Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) with relevant authorities, stakeholders, and expert organisations took place on Saturday, February 5, 2022.”
“The focus of our joint efforts is to prioritise investigations towards establishing the whereabouts, safety, and security of the seven crew members still missing, clean up and limit damage to the environment, and establish the cause of the explosion.”
MEANWHILE, Federal Government lost not less than 200,000 barrels of crude oil in the incident.
Also, one of the operators utilising the services provided by the FPSO was said to have made an off-take of approximately 120,000 barrels before the inferno, leaving an estimated 50-60,000 barrels in the storage as at the time of the fire.
Minister of State for Environment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor, who made this known in Abuja, assured that the National Oil Spill Detection Response Agency (NOSDRA) will monitor the situation.
She noted that the operation will be sustained in the weeks ahead until remnants of oil in the FPSO are evacuated and measures are taken to prevent a recurrence.