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Offshore worker dies on oil platform in Gulf of Mexico; investigation launched

Fieldwood Energy confirms one death on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, May 15.
Fieldwood Energy confirms one death on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, May 15.(Fieldwood Energy LLC)
Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 10:16 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - An offshore worker was fatally injured on Saturday, May 15, on a Fieldwood Energy oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to Fieldwood Energy LLC, the unmanned platform is 50 miles south of Marsh Island and 125 miles southwest of New Orleans.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Gulf of Mexico has established a panel to investigate.

Fieldwood says the unidentified contractor was involved in a “nonemergency casing pressure test on a shut-in well.” Casing pressure tests are used to determine the integrity of a shut-in well before it is allowed to begin operating.

No other personnel were injured. The well remains secure and poses no threat to the environment, according to officials.

Fieldwood released a statement, saying in part they are “deeply saddened.”

“Our sincerest condolences go out to the worker’s family and friends,” said BSEE Gulf of Mexico Regional Director Lars Herbst. “We are committed to a complete investigation to determine the cause of the incident and to identify approaches that will enhance the safety of future operations.”

A team of BSEE investigators, inspectors, and engineers will review information provided through the operator, contract employees, witnesses, and subject matter expert interviews. Investigators will also analyze any evidence from forensic testing.

The panel will issue a report with its findings regarding the causes and make recommendations on how to strengthen existing safety measures once the investigation is completed.

Fieldwood is based in Houston and is one of the largest operators in the Gulf, with more than 1,000 wells and over 500 platforms.

Fieldwood Energy operates hundreds of platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
Fieldwood Energy operates hundreds of platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.(Fieldwood Energy LLC)

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