Flaring (?) Off Nigeria’s Coast

We’ve been routinely watching the coast of Nigeria for oil spills (like the recent ExxonMobil offshore pipeline spill that’s affected 20 miles of coastline) and other incidents.  Lately we’ve noticed what appears to be something burning far offshore, approximately 75 miles southwest of Brass on the Niger Delta. We went back as far as July on MODIS satellite images to see what we could find, and we did find evidence of burning going on multiple times over the past few months at that location, as you can see in the images below.

Is this continuous flaring (the burning off of unwanted natural gas) from a deepwater oil production platform, or from a drill rig?  Does anybody know who is currently operating out there?  Any help “sea-truthing” this site would be greatly appreciated!

The location is 3.477568° North latitude, 5.569900° East longitude.

Look for red “hotspots” on MODIS 7-2-1 infrared images, and long smoke plumes on the MODIS True Color images:

Flaring visible on MODIS Terra 7-2-1 on 8/30/12
Flaring visible on MODIS Terra 7-2-1 on 11/4/12


MODIS Terra True Color image 11/16/2012 showing smoke plume extending 100 miles southwest of the flaring site.