A possible failure of surface equipment during drilling operations may have caused the fire that erupted on board the jackup KS Endeavour (300' ILC) offshore Nigeria early Monday, Chevron Corp. reported in a statement Tuesday.
"The well continues to burn and the rig has partially collapsed," Chevron said. "At this time, the company cannot estimate how long the fire will continue."
Chevron is mobilizing the Transocean jackup GSF Baltic (375' ILC) to the site to drill a relief well; the time required for drilling is uncertain at this point. Chevron said it was deploying additional drilling experts and well control specialists to Nigeria to assist with well control efforts and the relief drilling process.
The company is evaluating a small sheen visible near the well; the sheen is estimated to contain approximately 13 barrels.
Chevron also is still searching for two contract workers missing after a fire broke out on a jackup offshore Nigeria yesterday. "While Chevron's highest priority remains the rescue of the missing contractors, the company continues to devote the necessary resources to resolve the rig incident in a responsible and timely manner," the company said in a statement.
One hundred fifty-two workers on the rig and Hercules Offshore liftboat Mako were evacuated and are receiving medical treatment onshore. Two remain hospitalized due to minor burns, while others are being held for further observation, Chevron said in a statement.
Hercules reported Tuesday that the 175-foot liftboat Mako has likely been lost in the fire.
Company employees on site in Nigeria reported that the vessel sustained extensive damage, Hercules said in a statement released earlier Tuesday.
The vessel was providing excess storage services adjacent to the KS Endeavour drilling rig when the fire broke out Monday. The vessel has an insured value of $8 million, subject to a $1 million deductible, which would not apply in the event the vessel is a total loss.
At the time of the fire, KS Endeavour was drilling a natural gas exploration well at the Funiwa field approximately six miles offshore Nigeria and in approximately 40 feet of water.
Chevron subsidiary Chevron Nigeria Limited holds a 40 percent interest in the well; the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation owns 60 percent interest. FODE Drilling Nigeria Limited is operator of the rig.
As a preventive measure, Chevron shut in production of approximately 2,000 bopd at the nearby North Apoi platform.
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