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Chevron oil rig fire in Nigeria kills two

23 January 2012

Two contractors, of French & Indian nationality have died after a fire aboard the K.S. Endeavor, a drilling rig offshore Nigeria operated by FODE Drilling Nigeria Limited. The company continues to devote the necessary resources to resolve the rig incident in a responsible and timely manner they have said.

Chevron rig K.S. Endeavor
Chevron rig K.S. Endeavor

On Jan. 16, 2012, a fire started aboard the shallow-water jack-up drilling rig KS Endeavor. Contracted by Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) and operated by FODE Drilling Nigeria Limited, the rig was drilling a natural gas exploration well approximately six miles (10 km) off the coast of Nigeria and in roughly 40 feet (12 m) of water.

There were 154 personnel on the rig and a support barge, and 152 were safely evacuated. Tragically, the fire claimed two lives.

The cause of the incident remains under investigation. Efforts are under way to seal the well, which will extinguish the fire. At this time, the company cannot estimate how long the fire will continue.

Chevron rig K.S. Endeavor ablaze
Chevron rig K.S. Endeavor ablaze

CNL is fully cooperating with all relevant Nigerian government authorities. The company affirms its commitment to operational excellence, the safety of its personnel, the security of its assets and protection of the environment.

We also remain committed to providing updates when relevant information becomes available.

Chevron Nigeria Ltd. (CNL) is finalizing plans to commence drilling a relief well to control the Funiwa Deep 1A well, a natural gas exploration well in shallow water offshore Nigeria. The fire is still burning at the well site. No rig structure can be seen above the water. Based on the condition of the well, the safest way to control it is to drill a relief well that will kill the well at depth.

Chevron rig K.S. Endeavor ablaze
Chevron rig K.S. Endeavor ablaze

Contrary to some erroneous media reports, at this time there is no oil spilled as a result of this incident. We reiterate that this is a natural gas well.

With the gas flow, fine silt and mud on the seabed floor is disturbed and rises to the surface. Discoloration of the water is visible near the well site.

CNL is monitoring the well for impacts to the environment. CNL has hired local community residents as beach walkers to monitor the shoreline. No impacts to the beach have been reported.

Chevron rig K.S. Endeavor
Chevron rig K.S. Endeavor

Production from Chevron's North Apoi platform remains shut in since it is situated in close proximity to the incident. Total production from the platform was approximately 2,000 barrels per day.

CNL owns a 40 percent interest in the well and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has a 60 percent interest.


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