Explosion at OML 40 oilfield crashes Nigeria’s production by 10,000bpd

An explosion at a production facility in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 40, in which Elcrest Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited – a partner of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPCDC) – has stake, has cut production by 10,000 barrels per day.

The mishap devastated a marine storage vessel in the process of oil evacuation at Gbetiokun Early Production facility, said Kennie Obateru, spokesman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the parent company of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.

No deaths or injuries were recorded, Mr Obateru added, also saying the spill from the accident was not significant in the community the oil asset was located.

The accident happened on 2nd November on the MT Harcourt storage vessel with a capacity of 180,000 barrels.

Seplat Petroleum, the operator, exports crude from the oilfield through the vessel. The company said the incident had not disrupted production. Partners are working to know what triggered the blast.

NPDC has 55 per cent stake in OML 40, with the rest 45 per cent owned by Elcrest. Elcrest is itself a joint venture comprising Starcrest Nigeria Energy, which has 55 per cent, and Seplat, owner of the other 45 per cent interest.

In July, a similar incident occurred when a valve station serving OML 40 went up in flames, causing the death of seven employees. Production was halted briefly but restarted in August.