Chevron gas well fire off Nigeria coast no longer burning

Channels Television  
Updated March 6, 2012

After 46 days, the deadly fire that razed a Chevron Corp. rig off the southern coast of oil rich Nigeria has stopped, the company said in a press release Monday.

According to the statement, the fire that erupted on 16 January at the Funiwa field 10km off Nigeria’s Bayelsa State, killing two contract workers from India and France, ceased burning on Friday, March 2.

“The well stopped flowing on its own,” the statement read.

The Associated Press reported that the spokesman for the company, Russell A. Johnson, said Chevron had only confirmed the fire extinguished on Tuesday.

In the statement, the oil corporation said it “detected no natural gas flowing from the well since the fire ceased burning and is monitoring the area continuously.”

Johnson assured that Chevron would continue to dig the relief well nearby to “permanently plug and abandon Funiwa 1A.”

“We continue to watch to ensure gas doesn’t begin to flow,” Johnson said.

The company is still looking into the cause of the fire that has caused severe environmental damage to the region.

However, the Nigerian government claims a “gas kick”, a major build up of gas pressure from drilling, could have started the fire.