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Fire Tragedy Shuts Down Operations

Contributor: Richard DeSilva
Posted: 01/24/2010
Richard DeSilva
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A fire aboard a Louisiana based offshore drilling platform has killed one worker and injured two others.

The East Cameron (EC) 2 platform belonging to Apache Corporation experienced the incident while three members of Island Operating, a contract service, were on board. Authorities at the coastal town of Cameron Parish received an alert in the early hours of the morning and two rescue boats were dispatched to the scene. All three personnel were retrieved and transported to a nearby hospital, where one of the victims died.

Apache has operations worldwide. The platform, which processes around 850 barrels of oil and 7.7 million cubic feet of gas, has subsequently been shut down for the immediate future and operations secured. As part of the company’s emergency response, government agencies and response teams have been mobilised to assess any environmental damage, which Apache believes to be minimal.



Jon Jeppesen, the executive vice president of Apache in the Gulf Coast expressed his deepest sympathy to the deceased’s family on behalf of the company and released the following statement:

"Our priority at this time is to minimize any environmental impact from the incident. After that has been accomplished, and conditions permit safely boarding the platform, we will investigate to determine the cause of the fire."

Despite a decrease in the number of incidents since the release of the Baker panel Report, written in response to the 2005 Texas City explosion, there are signs that the implementation of correct safety planning facilities still requires urgent attention on a worldwide level. In the UK, the Health and Safety Executive reported that since 2008, major accidents occurring within deck operations had been reduced significantly, but that those working in the areas of maintenance and construction were still most at risk of serious injury.

The Apache incident comes just several weeks after reports of another death aboard the Maersk Resolute rig in the Nini East Field, operated by DONG Energy. A British man working for a sub-contractor perished in the accident in November. A full investigation is currently ongoing and crisis counsellors have been treating the crew.

Richard DeSilva
Contributor: Richard DeSilva