Three Crewmembers Survived Explosion on FPSO Off Nigeria
The operator of the FPSO Trinity Spirit announced Sunday that three of the vessel's 10 crewmembers have been found alive The body of one deceased crewmember was found nearby early Sunday morning, and seven others remain missing.
The Trinity Spirit exploded, broke in half and partially sank on Wednesday, February 2. Ten people working aboard the vessel were reported missing and were initially feared dead, and the news of survivors was welcome.
“We can confirm that three (3) crew members have been found alive in the community and our priority is to ensure that they receive the appropriate medical attention they need,” said CEO Ikemefuna Okafor in a statement. “The focus of our joint efforts is to prioritize 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."
Trinity Spirit was a single-hull VLCC built in 1976 and converted into an FPSO in 1997. She was acquired by Conoco and deployed to the Ukpokiti field off the Niger Delta in the early 2000s. Conoco resold her to an independent firm in 2006, and she has been managed by a company in Houston, Texas since that date, according to her Equasis record.
In recent years, she was operating under charter to Sepcol, the inheritor of the Ukpokiti field, on a bareboat basis. Traders told Reuters that the vessel was aging, poorly maintained and little-used. Nigeria's oil ministry indicated that the field has not been in production for the past two years.
Nigerian officials said efforts were underway to contain the environmental damage to the vessel and that they planned to conduct a full investigation into the cause of the fire.