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Explosion on Gulf of Mexico rig kills one, injures three

21 November 2014

An explosion on Fieldwood Energy's Echo platform in the Gulf of Mexico on November 20 killed one person and injured three others, according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), the US offshore safety agency. The explosion occurred in 220 feet of water in the West Delta field, about 12 miles (19 km) off the coast of New Orleans.

Stock image
Stock image

"The Echo platform was not in production at the time of the incident. The facility damage was limited to the explosion area and there was no pollution reported," BSEE said.

The agency said three people were injured and were being treated at an onshore medical facility, while Fieldwood said one contractor employee was killed and a second was seriously injured. There was no explanation for the discrepancy in the number of injured.

Fieldwood said the platform was undamaged and that it had few details about the accident. 

“We have accounted for all other personnel who were working at the facility,” said Shannon Savoy, offshore production manager for Fieldwood. “This incident just occurred, so we do not have many details at this point.”

BSEE said it was coordinating with the Coast Guard on the response and would investigate the incident.

Fieldwood has become the largest player in the shallower continental shelf region of the US section of the Gulf of Mexico. The Houston-based company is owned by private equity firm Riverstone Holdings and has been buying up Gulf wells and lease agreements over the last 18 months, including $4.5 billion worth of assets from Apache Corp. and SandRidge Energy.

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