Home » Oil production ship linked to Nigerian energy magnate Ambrosie Bryant Orjiako explodes

Oil production ship linked to Nigerian energy magnate Ambrosie Bryant Orjiako explodes

by Omokolade Ajayi

Shebah Exploration and Production Company (Shebah E&P), a Nigerian energy firm linked to business magnate Ambrosie Bryant Orjiako, has confirmed an explosion at one of its offshore oil production facilities in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region, Africa’s largest economy.

According to a statement issued by Shebah E&P management, the unfortunate incident occurred during the early hours of Wed., Feb. 2, the Trinity Spirit Floating Production Storage and Offloading facility located at the Ukpokiti Terminal.

The explosion at the oil facility, which can produce 22,000 barrels of crude oil per day and store up to 2 million barrels of crude oil, is the country’s second environmental disaster in about three months.

The company stated in a press release that there were no reported fatalities at the time of writing, but that there were 10 crewmen onboard the vessel prior to the incident and that an investigation into their safety and security will be prioritized.

“The cause of the explosion is currently being investigated, and we are working with necessary parties to contain the situation,” the statement read.

“We have duly notified all relevant authorities, and we urge the public to avoid the area while our crisis management team continues to monitor the situation and update all stakeholders with new information as the investigation progresses,” the company added.

The recent disaster follows continuing debt controversies and pending court cases surrounding Shebah E&P following a court action instituted by Zenith Bank Plc, a leading Nigerian bank, over a $150-million loan facility taken out by the company in 2012 to carry out a drilling campaign in OML 108.

Orjiako, a multimillionaire businessman and leading energy mogul who runs Shebah E&P, recently stepped down as chairman and board director of Seplat Energy Plc, Nigeria’s largest energy group.

Orjiako, who co-founded Seplat Energy with Austin Avuru in 2009 through the collaboration of Shebah Petroleum Development Company and Platform Petroleum Joint Ventures, is credited with turning Seplat into one of Nigeria’s most successful indigenous oil and gas companies.

Since its inception more than a decade ago, Seplat has grown to become the largest listed energy group on the Nigerian Exchange, with a market capitalization of more than N420 billion ($1 billion).

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