Two offshore workers injured in Shell platform fire

Two offshore workers have been injured in a fire on the Shell-operated oil platform in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The platform has been shut in. 

The U.S. Coast Guard and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) responded to a report of an oil platform fire in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday.

Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watchstanders received a report at 1:20 a.m. that Shell’s Enchilada fixed-leg platform, located at Garden Banks Block 128, was on fire approximately 112 nautical miles south of Vermilion Bay, Louisiana.

The BSEE said that there were 46 crew members reported aboard the platform that evacuated to a lifeboat and were transferred to a nearby platform, Salsa, by the offshore supply vessel C-Liberty.

The safety bureau said that there were two people reported to have injuries. Namely, a 54-year-old male suffered from flash burns and a concussion, and a 29-year-old male suffered from a sprained wrist and a concussion. Shell launched an emergency helicopter and medevaced both people and transferred them to the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston.

The platform and all associated production have been shut in and the fire has been reduced to a small flame coming out of a pipe on the platform. There was report of a light sheen north of the Shell platform Enchilada, the BSEE said.

Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile launched a HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew to conduct an overflight. The aircrew reported the fire had mostly dissipated. A Coast Guard Cutter Skipjack boat crew was also diverted to the scene.

The BSEE and Coast Guard are jointly investigating the cause of the incident.

According to Shell’s statement on Wednesday, the fire was associated with a 30-inch gas export pipeline. Production at the Auger and Salsa platforms and nearby fields have also been shut in.

Shell also said that there was no visual evidence of oil on the water near the incident site. For safety reasons, Shell has chosen to allow the gas discharge (3-6 foot flame) to burn while the pipeline is being safely depressurized.

Shell personnel performed a visual assessment of the Enchilada platform and based on those observations, the asset appears to be structurally sound. A more detailed analysis of the platform will be conducted, Shell concluded.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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