Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Black Elk Energy Offshore Oil Rig Accident

Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations, LLC confirmed that a fire ignited Friday morning on the company’s platform located at West Delta 32 Block, located in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 17 miles southeast of Grand Isle, La. There were 22 workers on the platform at the time of the incident. Two individuals have yet to be accounted for and an aggressive search and rescue effort is underway. Nine workers were injured and are now being treated at a number of hospitals in the New Orleans area. Eleven workers were safely evacuated.

The National Response Center, U.S. Coast Guard and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement were promptly notified of the incident. The fire was extinguished within an hour. The United States Coast Guard confirmed following an over flight that there is no visible sheen. The production platform has been shut in since mid-August.

On Friday morning local time, a fire and explosion ripped through an oil platform owned by Black Elk Energy in the Gulf of Mexico near the mouth of the Mississippi River. The company was started in 2007 by John Hoffman, a former BP Amoco executive. 

Indications are that this oil rig explosion is unlikely to turn into a major disaster, fortunately. The platform was located in 56 feet of water in the West Delta Block 32 of the Gulf of Mexico. According to an interview with Hoffman, workers were in the final stages of a maintenance job when they were to perform a “clean cut” with a saw on a water line. Instead of using a saw, the worker used a cutting torch instead. This ignited vapors in the line, that fire then ignited fuel stored in a nearby tank, cause an explosion. 

According to data filed with the U.S. Government, Black Elk holds at least 88 oil and gas leases and last quarter pumped 14,000 barrels of oil and oil equivalents per day. The Houston-based company, currently holds interests in properties in Texas and Louisiana waters, including 854 wells on 155 platforms, and recently announced an expansion with plans to drill 23 new wells in the Gulf of Mexico.

Two persons were missing from the initiate recovery operations.  One deceased body has been recovered.

About Black Elk Energy: Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations, LLC is an independent oil and gas company headquartered in Houston, Texas. (Examiner, 11/16/2012, Black Elk Energy Press Release)

No comments: