25 January 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS – The Chevron-chartered oil drilling rig, on fire off Nigeria since early last week, has finally gone under the Atlantic Ocean.
But, the fire, which killed two people, continues to rage.
The US supermajor, which has denied allegations of oil pollution from the burning KS Endeavor droilling rig, has decided that the best way to control the inferno is to drill a relief well.
In an update released on Monday, Chevron said the fire was still burning but that “no rig structure can be seen above the water”.
A photograph released by the company shows flames on the water surface, which is also discoloured, but the fire appears far less intense than in previous images.
“Contrary to some erroneous media reports, at this time there is no oil spilled as a result of this incident,” Chevron continued.
“We reiterate that this is a natural gas well. With the gas flow, fine silt and mud on the seabed floor is disturbed and rises to the surface. Discolouration of the water is visible near the well site.”
Last week Peter Idabor, director general of Nigeria’s National Oil Spill Detection & Response Agency (NOSDRA) reported that some local communities had complained of oil pollution resulting from the rig fire.
“A crude oil spill from the facility was spotted by the surveillance around the KS Endeavor and along the shoreline – that is the exact report,” Idabor said after a helicopter fly over was conducted over the site.