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Seplat Says Staff Not Involved in OML 40 Explosion

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The management of Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc has said none of its employees was involved in an explosion in Delta State on Monday.

On July 7, 2020, seven oil workers died at an explosion during a planned work by a Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) contractor at the Benin River Valve Station on OML 40 in Delta State.

According to reports, the unfortunate incident happened when a ladder was being installed on a platform at the Benin River Valve Station, which is used for exporting Gbetiokun production, OML 40.

The OML 40 is operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), on behalf of the NPDC/Elcrest Joint Venture.

NPDC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), controls 55 percent stake in the oil asset, while Elcrest Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd (EENPL) has the remaining 45 percent.

Elcrest is a joint venture between Starcrest and Eland, a subsidiary of Seplat. While Starcrest owns 55 percent, Eland controls 45 percent stake in the joint venture.

In its reaction to the inferno via a statement signed by the company secretary, Mrs Edith Onwuchekwa, the leading indigenous oil and gas exploration and production company noted that efforts were made to “quickly extinguish” the fire to bring the situation under control.

It stated that, “The site of the incident is some distance from field operations on OML 40, which were unaffected, expressing its thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of all those who lost their lives.”

“Our utmost priority will continue to be the safety and wellbeing of our employees and contractors, as well as their families,” Seplat added.

Yesterday, the Group General Manager of the Group Public Affairs Division at NNPC, Dr Kennie Obateru, stated that a “detailed investigation of the cause of the explosion has commenced, while the Department of Petroleum Resources has been duly notified and Form 41 was being prepared for the industry regulator as required in circumstances of this nature.”

The oil agency also noted that, “The bodies of casualties have been deposited in a morgue in Sapele, while families of the personnel involved are being contacted by their employers: Weld Affairs and Flow Impact, which are consultants to NPDC.”

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