After suggesting that the rig fire off the coast of Nigeria could burn “for months,” Chevron has announced that it is no longer burning.
Apparently the fire stopped burning by itself several days ago, as gas was no longer flowing from the well. I have read differing accounts about why the gas stopped leaking, but at this point Chevron can’t guarantee that this is the end of the story. The company is continuing with relief well drilling.
There is still no information available on environmental damage or compensation for fishermen and villagers who say that both their livelihoods and their health have suffered as a result of the 45+ day fire. For more than one month now, there have been news reports of tests to determine contamination levels. But we’ve yet to see any results.
Here’s the Chevron press release:
March 5, 2012
LAGOS, Nigeria, March 5, 2012 – Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) announced that the fire at the site of the Funiwa 1A natural gas well offshore Nigeria ceased burning on Friday, March 2. The well stopped flowing on its own.
CNL has detected no natural gas flowing from the well since the fire ceased burning and is monitoring the area continuously.
CNL will continue to drill the relief well to permanently plug and abandon Funiwa 1A.
As always seems to be the case, each bit of information leaves more unanswered questions.