An investigation has started into how two workers died on a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) ship in West Africa
The incident occurred on 14 January on BW Offshore’s FPSO Espoir Ivoirien, Ivory Coast. This FPSO is stationed on the Espoir oilfield, operated by Canadian Natural Resources (CNR) International.
BW Offshore confirmed, “Two fatalities have been confirmed as a consequence of the incident, which was caused by a leakage of hydrocarbons into the tank where the work was being performed.”
As a result of the hydrocarbon leak, production on Espoir Ivoirien has been shut down and the leak was contained within the cargo tank. All other personnel were accounted for. Both the vessel owner and field operator are co-operating with local authorities to address the situation.
BW Offshore chief executive Marco Beenen said the company was thinking of the casualties and causes of the incident. “This is a tragic day for the families of the men we have lost, and our hearts go out to them,” he said.
Espoir Ivoirien has been stationed on the Espoir field since 2002 and was on contract until at least 2022, with options to extend production beyond 2030. This turret-moored FPSO has storage capacity of 1.1M barrels and production capabilities of 45,000 barrels per day (b/d). It is connected via flowlines to two wellhead platforms that produce oil from wells into the east and west Espoir reservoirs.
Espoir Ivoirien is one of 15 FPSOs and floating storage and offloading ships BW Offshore operates.
This incident on Espoir Ivoirien comes less than two weeks after BW Offshore secured a contract extension for another FPSO operating in the Gulf of Guinea. Italian energy producer Eni subsidiary Nigerian Agip Exploration extended the charter of Abo FPSO, which operates on the Abo field in Nigeria, until the end of Q4 2021. Eni has options to extend the contract until Q2 2023. This spread-moored FPSO has operated on Abo since 2003. It has 930,000 barrels of storage and 44,000 b/d of production capacity.
Other FPSOs BW Offshore operates in West Africa include BW Adolo, Petróleo Nautipa and Sendje Berge.
CNR International also operates the Baobab field in Ivory Coast in deeper waters, south of Espoir. This produces oil through subsea wells tied into another FPSO, Modec’s Baobab Ivoirien MV10, with oil exported by shuttle tankers and gas piped to Espoir for onward export to shore.
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