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Chevron Nigeria offshore blaze extinguished

08 March 2012

Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) says the fire at the Funiwa 1A offshore natural gas well ceased burning on March 2. According to the company, the well stopped flowing on its own and the most likely scenario is that undersea rocks fell into the well, blocking the flow of gas.

Chevron's Funiwa 1A offshore natural gas well has now been extinguished
Chevron's Funiwa 1A offshore natural gas well has now been extinguished

CNL says it will continue to drill a relief well to permanently plug and abandon Funiwa 1A. No natural gas has been detected from the well since the fire ceased burning and the company says it is monitoring the area continuously.

Meanwhile, CNL workers have blockaded the oil company’s administrative office in Warri, Delta State.

According to local reports, more than 80 workers from Delta and Bayelsa state communities are protesting alleged non-payment of their salaries and allowances since the January 16 blowout that set the KS Endeavour rig alight, killing two workers and leaving others seriously injured. 

The workers allege that on January 17, Chevron officials in Warri addressed survivors of the explosion promising that workers’ welfare would be taken care of and that they would be entitled to stand-by pay. They claim that in fact no salary or benefit of any kind has been paid. 

There have also been complaints that the environmental effects of the blaze have not been mitigated, with dead dolphins and fish washing up on the coastline over the last seven weeks.

Regional politicians have separately called for stronger powers to regulate and fine transgressing oil and gas operators.

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