Chevron Corporation said that an extensive search and rescue effort continues for two contractors who remain missing after a fire aboard the K.S. Endeavor, a drilling rig offshore Nigeria operated by FODE Drilling Nigeria Limited.
“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.” said Chevron in a press release.
As previously reported, the K.S. Endeavor was drilling a natural gas exploration well for Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL). The well is located in the Funiwa Field approximately six miles (10 kilometers) offshore and in approximately 40 feet (12 meters) of water.
Chevron reported that 152 workers on the rig and an associated barge were safely evacuated. They are now onshore and have been given medical examinations. Two remain hospitalized due to minor burns, while others are being held for further observation. .
While a full investigation is still underway, Chevron said initial indications point to the possible failure of surface equipment during drilling operations that led to a loss of well control. The well continues to burn and the rig has partially collapsed. At this time, the company cannot estimate how long the fire will continue.
Chevron has contracted with and is mobilizing the Transocean rig Baltic to commence drilling a relief well. Chevron said the time required to complete the relief well is uncertain, but could extend for some period. Chevron is deploying additional drilling experts and well control specialists to Nigeria to assist with well control efforts and the relief drilling process.
A small sheen is visible in close proximity to the well, which the company continues to evaluate. The sheen is estimated at approximately 13 barrels. Production from Chevron s North Apoi platform remains shut in since it is situated in close proximity to the incident. Total production from the platform was approximately 2,000 barrels per day.
CNL owns a 40 percent interest in the well and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has a 60 percent interest.
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AP | Jan. 15, 2012, 12:24 AM
ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s government and labor unions failed Saturday night to end a paralyzing nationwide strike over high gasoline costs, potentially sparking an oil production shutdown in a nation vital to U.S. oil supplies.
It was not immediately clear early Sunday whether a major oil workers’ union had gone ahead with its threat to have its members walk off their jobs starting at midnight in an effort to halt oil production.
Nigeria, which produces 2.4 mi lion barrels of oil a day, is the fifth-largest oil exporter to the United States. Any disruption to oil production could roil the oil futures market at a time traders remain concerned about world supply.
President Goodluck Jonathan did not show up for a meeting with union representatives held Saturday night at the presidential villa in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, nor did Vice President Namadi Sambo. Instead, the nation’s Senate president and its House speaker represented the government along with other officials.
After the meeting, Nigeria Labor Congress President Abdulwaheed Omar told waiting journalists: “We have not reached a compromise.”
Asked whether oil production would immediately halt, Omar said: “We are taking these things gradually.”
Nigeria has been gripped by a paralyzing strike since Monday when labor unions called the nationwide work stoppage in response to a government decision to remove subsidies, causing fuel prices to more than double in Africa’s most populous nation. However, oil workers mostly remained on the job.
On Thursday, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria threatened to stop all oil production in Nigeria at midnight Saturday. President Babatunde Ogun and other union officials were not immediately available to confirm whether its members had left their posts.
The union’s ability to enforce a shutdown across the swamps of Nigeria’s southern delta to its massive offshore oil fields remains in question. But the threat of a strike caused jitters on global oil markets Friday.
The strike began Monday, paralyzing the nation of more than 160 million people. The root cause remains gasoline prices: President Goodluck Jonathan’s government abandoned subsidies that kept gasoline prices low on Jan. 1, causing prices to spike from $1.70 per gallon (45 cents per liter) to at least $3.50 per gallon (94 cents per liter). The costs of food and transportation also largely doubled in a nation where most people live on less than $2 a day.
Anger over losing one of the few benefits average Nigerians see from being an oil-rich country, as well as disgust over government corruption, have led to demonstrations across this nation and violence that has killed at least 10 people. Red Cross volunteers have treated more than 600 people injured in protests since the strike began, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Friday.
Even if strikers are only partially successful, fears of tightened global supplies could raise oil prices by $5-$10 per barrel on futures markets next week. Gasoline prices would follow, rising by as much as 10 cents per gallon and forcing U.S. drivers to spend an additional $36 million a day at the pump.
Experts predict the national average in the U.S. could rise as high as $4.25 per gallon ($1.12 a liter) in 2012.
- Iran Foreign Ministry Claims Nuclear Scientist Was Executed By CIA, As Nigeria Strike Talks Collapse (zerohedge.com)
- No Deal Yet to End Nigeria Strike (thestreet.com)
- Nigerian strike talks fail to reach fuel price deal – Reuters (reuters.com)
- Nigeria labor says no agreement to end fuel strike (foxnews.com)
Nigerian union members and demonstrators march in Lagos to protest the removal of petroleum subsidies by the government on January 3, 2012. Nigerian police fired tear gas to disperse a small crowd burning tires in Lagos and arrested demonstrators in the northern city of Kano on Tuesday as protests continued over soaring fuel prices. (Pius Utomi Ekpei /AFP/Getty Images)
Over the weekend, Nigerian President Goodluck Johnathan said the violence that has erupted from Islamist militant group Boko Haram, is the gravest threat since the civil war in 1967 to 1970 that left as many as 3 million people dead, and nearly ripped the country apart, according to Agence France Presse.
“During the civil war we knew and we could even predict where the enemy was coming from. But the challenge we have today is more complicated,” Jonathan said, according to The Guardian. The president said some Boko Haram supporters even work for the government.
As the Nigerian government attempts to counter this threat, however, the country appears to be descending into chaos. On the first of this year, the president announced an end to government-sponsored fuel subsidies, doubling and tripling the price of gas in a matter of days.
The reaction of the people was swift, as people took to the streets in opposition to the move almost immediately. Yesterday, schools, banks and stores were shuttered, as protests and a general strike swept the nation after an emergency court banned the demonstrations on Sunday, according to Bloomberg News.
The BBC reports at least three people were killed and more than 30 injured in the protests, that drew tens of thousands of people, and are scheduled to continue indefinitely.
CNN reports a higher death toll, citing at least five reported deaths. Hadiza Halliru, an Abuja protester told the broadcaster that soaring fuel prices have caused an increase in the costs of everything from food to school fees. In Nigeria, more than 90 percent of the people live on less than $2 a day.
“The fuel hike, which has doubled and even tripled in some states, would affect not only transportation but the price of foodstuff, clothing, any form of direct labor, construction costs,” he told CNN. “But salaries still remain the same, which means everyone who directly pays bills will be affected, especially the middle class and the poor.”
In a photo on the Voice of America website, one man carries a placard that reads: “One day the poor will have nothing to eat but the rich.”
The fuel subsidy cost the government $8 billion in 2011, and some argue it never really helped the average Nigerian person get ahead. Critics of the subsidy say it filtered large amounts of money into the hands of the few, leaving the country with very little in the way of infrastructure development.
As the debate over the subsidy raged last fall, a Nigerian Tribune editorial hailed local leaders for standing up to the people profiting from the subsidy. The author, Joshua Ocheja, writes:
“We can’t sit and watch while an infinitesimal percentage of the population milk us dry in the name of fuel subsidy … It is high time we called a spade a spade in this country. Our elected officials must account for their actions and inactions as it concerns the populace.
- Burning roadblocks at 2nd day of Nigeria strike (mysanantonio.com)
- Nigeria On the Verge of Chaos As Thousands Strike Over Rising Fuel Prices (clutchmagonline.com)
- Government: Ongoing Nigeria strike invites anarchy (seattlepi.com)
- Nigeria in turmoil (zxeesha.wordpress.com)
|This week the SubseaIQ team added 1 new projects and updated 16 projects. You can see all the updates made over any time period via the Project Update History search. The latest offshore field develoment news and activities are listed below for your convenience.|
- Ophir Begins with Drilling Operations Offshore Tanzania (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Angola: Azul-1 Deepwater Well Brings Oil to Maersk Oil (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: Saratoga, McMoRan in Vermilion 16 Field JV Talks (mb50.wordpress.com)
Pacific Drilling S.A. today provided an update on the status of its ultra-deepwater drillships. The Pacific Bora commenced its three year contract with a wholly owned Chevron subsidiary on August 26, 2011, and continues to operate in the Agbami Field in Nigeria. The rig has reached performance levels in line with industry expectations.
In addition, following previously announced repairs and upgrades, the Pacific Scirocco is mobilizing from quayside in Port Ngqura, South Africa, to Nigeria, where it is expected to commence a one year contract with Total E&P Nigeria Limited in December 2011.
The Pacific Santa Ana will complete upgrades prior to expected delivery in December 2011, before mobilizing to the US Gulf of Mexico for a five year contract with Chevron as the world’s first dual gradient drilling rig.
The Pacific Mistral arrived in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, on November 21, 2011. The rig will now undergo regulatory approvals and acceptance testing with its client, Petrobras, prior to beginning operations, which are expected to start in December 2011.
- Dolphin Drilling to Provide Two Drillships for Anadarko’s Mozambique Operations (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Fred Olsen Wins Contract for Belford Dolphin and Newbuild Drillship (gcaptain.com)
- Ocean Rig Bidding to Rent 5 Drillships to Petrobras, Brazil (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Drillship animation in the Gulf of Mexico (video) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- South Korea: Naming Ceremony for Odfjell Drilling’s New UDW Drillship (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Inauguration of Noble Globetrotter I at Schiendam, the Netherlands (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Deepwater Millenium Drillship Not Moving to Brazil. Stays in Ghana (mb50.wordpress.com)