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Fire injures two on Shell platform in Gulf of Mexico

09 November 2017

Two people were injured after a fire broke out on Shell's Enchilada platform in the US Gulf of Mexico early on the morning of November 8, according to a joint report by the US Coast Guard (USCG) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). According to Shell, the incident involved a fire associated with a 30in gas export pipeline.

Stock image
Stock image

One worker suffered flash burns and a concussion, and another suffered from a sprained wrist and a concussion during the incident. Shell launched an emergency helicopter and took the two casualties to hospital in Galveston where they were treated and released.

Production at Enchilada, Auger and Salsa platforms and nearby fields have been shut-in. Shell said that the Enchilada platform appears to be structurally sound, but it will conduct a more detailed analysis later.

"There is no visual evidence of oil on the water near the incident site," Shell said in a statement on its website. "The source of the fire is isolated. For safety reasons, we have chosen to allow the gas discharge (3-6ft flame) to burn while the pipeline is being safely depressurized."

USCG and BSEE reported that 46 crewmembers were on the platform during the fire. They were able to evacuate to a lifeboat and were transferred to the nearby Salsa platform with help from the C-Liberty offshore supply vessel.

Enchilada is around 112 miles south of Vermilion Bay, Louisiana, in the Gulf of Mexico.

Shell said that approximately 60 Shell employees and representatives from the USCG were mobilised and are responding to the incident. USCG and Shell contracted vessels are monitoring the situation.

As a precaution, Shell said that a Clean Gulf Association oil spill response vessel has been mobilised, and other vessels are on standby waiting to respond.

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