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Explosion at ExxonMobil facility kills one and seriously injures another in Nigeria

04 January 2021

A fire and explosion at an ExxonMobil facility in Nigeria killed an employee and injured another on December 13. The incident happened at the Qua Iboe Terminal on the country’s southern coast. Local news reports that the explosion happened while the two employees were lighting a gas flare.

Representative image: Wikimedia / User: sixoone
Representative image: Wikimedia / User: sixoone

Nigerian news website Daily Trust reports that the person who died in the blast was a supervisor working in the facility’s processing area. The injured employee was rushed to hospital after being found with serious injuries.

Daily Trust quotes an anonymous source that said the two employees had flouted safety procedures while the plant was coming back online following a maintenance period. The source said that the two men had been told to light a gas flare which both burns excess gas and powers a turbine at the facility which is itself used to supply lighting.

An investigation into the incident has been opened with ExxonMobil working with local authorities to determine the exact cause.

On December 22, ExxonMobil issued a force majeure on the facility but did not say when the plant would come back online. At the time of the explosion, the energy major said that the explosion had not affected production.

According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC), the Qua Iboe Terminal produced around 178,000 barrels of crude per day in June 2020. The crude oil arrives at Qua Iboe from several offshore fields in the Bight of Biafra.

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