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Two killed at Shell Auger platform in Gulf of Mexico

03 July 2019

Two people were killed at Royal Dutch Shell’s Auger Tension Leg Platform in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico on June 30 while testing mandatory safety equipment, the company said. One other non-life-threatening injury was sustained and that individual is being treated at a nearby hospital, Shell said in an emailed statement on July 1.

Auger deepwater platform - Image: Shell
Auger deepwater platform - Image: Shell

A Shell employee and a contractor with Danos Inc, a Louisiana-based oilfield services provider, were killed during a routine test of a lifeboat launch and retrieval capabilities at the platform located 215 miles south of New Orleans, the statement said.

The platform remains in operation, Shell said. “There has been no impact to the environment and the asset is stable and producing.”

"In the over 40 years that Shell has operated in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico we have strived, above all, to ensure our people go home safely to their loved ones. It's devastating when they do not," Shell said in a prepared statement. "We deeply regret this loss of life within our Shell family and community."

"This is a very difficult day for us," added Danos spokeswoman Renee Piper. "The investigation is ongoing. Shell is obviously involved in that, and we're participating."

Auger began production in September 2014 in the Cardamom oil and gas field, which can yield up to 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent each day, according to Shell’s website.

Shell said it was cooperating with federal authorities as the company, the US Coast Guard and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) begin investigations. Shell will conduct an internal investigation as well.

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