Nigerian authorities are searching for 10 crew members missing after an explosion on a floating production storage and offloading vessel off Escravos on Wednesday.

The 22,000-bpd Trinity Spirit (built 1976) sank after the blast, domestic media reported.

No fatalities have been confirmed, but there has been no word about survivors.

UK shipbroker Clarksons describes the FPSO as laid up. It is owned by Lagos-based Shebah Exploration & Production Company (Sepcol), which is in receivership.

The explosion took place at the Ukpokiti terminal.

Sepcol confirmed a fire had “engulfed” the FPSO following a blast in the early hours of 2 February.

“The cause of the explosion is being investigated and we are working with necessary parties to contain the situation,” the company added.

“At this time there are no reported fatalities, but we can confirm that there were 10 crewmen on board the vessel prior to the incident and we are prioritising investigations with respect to their safety and security,” Sepcol said.

The Trinity Spirit sinking off Nigeria. Photo: Salvage and Wreck/Instagram

A team from oil major Chevron operating in the nearby Escravos facility, as well as local fishermen, are providing assistance.

“We have duly notified all relevant authorities and we appeal to the members of the public to stay away from the area while our crisis-management team continues to monitor the situation and update all stakeholders with new information as the investigation evolves,” Sepcol added.

The Liberian-flag FPSO can store 2m barrels per day of oil.