Explosion at an evacuation vessel at Ukpokiti field (OML 108) in Delta State, may create more woes for oil production in Nigeria as well as revenue from the sector.

While the 2022 budget is predicated on daily crude oil output of 1.88 million, Nigeria was unable to meet its oil production allocation by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) pumping on 1.46 million barrels per day against 1.683 million bpd quota by the cartel.

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) confirmed that an explosion leading to a major fire occurred at an evacuation vessel at Ukpokiti field (OML 108).

While 10 people have reportedly lost their lives to the incident, the development creates fresh concerns for oil spill barely a month after similar development in Bayelsa State.

The Director General of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (also known as (NOSDRA), Idris Musa, had told The Guardian that development remained an emergency being managed to be brought under control.

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OML 108 is located offshore in the western Niger Delta. The Ukpokiti field is developed through a floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) called Trinity Spirit.

Operated by Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited (SEPCOL), the OML covers an area of 750sqkm in water depth of 88ft (30m) as the FPSO has the capacity of 22,000 barrels per day and a storage capacity of 2 million barrels.

Although the volume of crude stored in the facility as of the time of explosion is yet to be ascertained, the prevailing situation meant that the country would find it difficult to meet up with its oil production benchmark of 1.88 million as listed in the 2022. It will also affect revenue targets from the oil sector.

Spokesperson for NUPRC, Paul Osu, said in a release, that the commission in line with its statutory regulatory oversight of Upstream Petroleum operations in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, had commenced investigations into the incident in conjunction with relevant stakeholders and would provide updates appropriately.

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According to him, there had been no report of any casualties or fatalities and the commission would take necessary measures to ensure that all safety and environmental steps in line with global best practices to safeguard lives and the environment are put in place.