Oil Rig Explosion Off Nigerian Coast
Chevron's K.S. Endeavor Catches Fire During Oil Exploration in Lagos Area
The offshore oil rig K.S. Endeavor, run on behalf of Chevron Nigeria Ltd. by drilling contractor FODE Drilling Co., caught fire on early in the morning on Monday, January 16th 2012 while operating in the Funiwa field off the coast of Nigeria. The jack-up rig was being used to seek out potential deepwater oil and gas fields in the Lagos area. It was not connected to any oil production at the time of the fire, according to a Chevron spokesperson.
Chevron was forced to shut down operations at its North Apoi platform due to its proximity to the fire on the K.S. Endeavor. At this time, it appears that the fire did not cause any oil spill, but Chevron is taking precautions to avoid further issues.
Search and rescue operations were initiated as soon as the fire was reported, and 152 workers were found and evacuated. Two workers remain unaccounted for, with no news of their whereabouts at this time. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, though a spokesperson for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation stated that a buildup of gas pressure from drilling may have been the cause of the fire. Currently, neither Chevron nor FODE have presented information as to the potential cause of the fire.
Producing approximately 2.4 million barrels of crude oil every day, Nigeria is the fifth-largest crude oil exporter to the United States. Chevron has exploration rights to approximately 2.2 million acres across Nigeria's delta and offshore. In 2010, the company produced an average of just over .5 million barrels of crude oil a day, making it the third-largest producer in Nigeria.
When a fire or explosion occurs on an offshore oil rig, the risk of injury is considerable. All workers on the rig may be affected, particularly due to the risk of sinking or the fire spreading to consume the entire platform. This incident off the Nigerian coast is an example; though we can only guess as to the workers' conditions, things are not looking good at this point in time.
For American workers injured while working offshore, there are numerous legal complexities to be dealt with. At Arnold & Itkin LLP we are experienced and aggressive advocates for maritime workers' rights. If you or someone you know was injured or lost their life on an oil platform off the U.S. coast or anywhere in the world, now is the time to talk to an oil rig explosion attorney at our law offices about your options. We are not afraid to go up against the largest oil companies in the world in order to seek the fair compensation you deserve.
Contact an oil rig explosion lawyerat our firm today.