ExxonMobil has issued a force majeure on Qua Iboe Terminal (QIT) after one of its supervisor allegedly died in a gas flaring accident at the facility on December 13, 2020.
Force majeure is a clause that is included in contracts to remove liability for natural and unavoidable catastrophes that interrupt the expected course of events and prevent participants from fulfilling obligations.
A spokesman of ExxonMobil, who confirmed this to Reuters on Tuesday, did not say how much production would be lost, or when the terminal would come be back online.
However, at the time of the incident, ExxonMobil said it did not anticipate any impact to operations at Qua Iboe, which is one of Nigeria’s oil export streams.
The accident occurred at QIT process area at ExxonMobil facility in Ibeno local government area, Akwa Ibom state, when the victims were about to light up the gas flaring plant.
According to Newsextra24, a source said the victims who were to turn on the plant flouted all safety precautions that would have averted the explosion.
“Two supervisors went to put on the gas flaring plant that was shutdown for maintenance. The victims were told to light up gas flare plant which is the excess gas from the flare,” the source said.
“If the flare is off, the whole QIT is in black out because the gas flare is used to power the turbine that supplies light to ExxonMobil facility in Mkpanak in Ibeno local government area of Akwa Ibom.”
Also, Ozeyoma Okordion, government relations advisor, public and government affairs of ExxonMobil, said: “Two employees were injured and both of them received immediate medical attention. One of the employees has passed away.
“We are saddened by this unfortunate incident and providing support to the family. The safety of our workforce and community remains our priority at all times”.
Qua Iboe, Ibeno is Nigeria’s largest export grade and popular among global refiners, with India, the US, Canada, Italy, Spain, Indonesia, and the Netherlands being key buyers.