• 55 mins Oil Prices Inch Higher After Surprise Crude Draw
  • 2 hours Kuwait Greenlights Game-Changing Gas Fields Project After Years of Delay
  • 2 hours Minnesota Begins Public Hearings On Enbridge Line 3 Project
  • 3 hours China Looks To Create National Natural Gas Pipeline Firm
  • 3 hours Total Not In A Rush To Sell Canadian Oil Sands Assets
  • 4 hours DOE Seeks To Boost Usage Of Carbon Capture Tech
  • 5 hours Taxpayers Likely To Pick Up The Growing Tab For DAPL Protests
  • 7 hours WTI At 7-Month High On Supply Optimism, Kurdistan Referendum
  • 14 hours Permian Still Holds 60-70 Billion Barrels Of Recoverable Oil
  • 19 hours Petrobras Creditors Agree To $6.22 Billion Debt Swap
  • 23 hours Cracks Emerge In OPEC-Russia Oil Output Cut Pact
  • 1 day Iran Calls On OPEC To Sway Libya, Nigeria To Join Cut
  • 1 day Chevron To Invest $4B In Permian Production
  • 1 day U.S.-Backed Forces Retake Syrian Conoco Gas Plant From ISIS
  • 1 day Iraq Says Shell May Not Quit Majnoon Oilfield
  • 4 days Nigerian Oil Output Below 1.8 Million BPD Quota
  • 4 days Colorado Landfills Contain Radioactive Substances From Oil Sector
  • 4 days Phillips 66 Partners To Buy Phillips 66 Assets In $2.4B Deal
  • 4 days Japan Court Slams Tepco With Fukushima Damages Bill
  • 4 days Oil Spills From Pipeline After Syria Army Retakes Oil Field From ISIS
  • 4 days Total Joins Chevron In Gulf Of Mexico Development
  • 4 days Goldman Chief Urges Riyadh To Get Vision 2030 Going
  • 4 days OPEC Talks End Without Recommendation On Output Cut Extension
  • 5 days Jamaican Refinery Expansion Stalls Due To Venezuela’s Financial Woes
  • 5 days India In Talks to Acquire 20 Percent Of UAE Oilfield
  • 5 days The Real Cause Of Peak Gasoline Demand
  • 5 days Hundreds Of Vertical Oil Wells Damaged By Horizontal Fracking
  • 5 days Oil Exempt In Fresh Sanctions On North Korea
  • 5 days Sudan, South Sudan Sign Deal To Boost Oil Output
  • 5 days Peruvian Villagers Shut Down 50 Oil Wells In Protest
  • 5 days Bay Area Sues Big Oil For Billions
  • 6 days Lukoil Looks To Sell Italian Refinery As Crimea Sanctions Intensify
  • 6 days Kurdistan’s Biggest Source Of Oil Funds
  • 6 days Oil Prices On Track For Largest Q3 Gain Since 2004
  • 6 days Reliance Plans To Boost Capacity Of World’s Biggest Oil Refinery
  • 6 days Saudi Aramco May Unveil Financials In Early 2018
  • 6 days Has The EIA Been Overestimating Oil Production?
  • 6 days Taiwan Cuts Off Fossil Fuels To North Korea
  • 6 days Clash In Oil-Rich South Sudan Region Kills At Least 25
  • 6 days Lebanon Passes Oil Taxation Law Ahead Of First Licensing Auction
Is Big Oil Going Green?

Is Big Oil Going Green?

Big Oil, ranking among the…

Federal Investigators Blame Poor Safety Culture for Black Elk Explosion

Almost a year after the explosion at the West Delta 32 platform in the Gulf of Mexico, federal investigators have concluded that poor decisions by Black Elk Energy and its contractors are to blame for the incident.

The blast, which occurred on the 16th of November 2012, killed three people working aboard the rig and injured several others. Early in the morning employees of DNR Offshore Crewing Services began welding a flange on an open pipe that was connected to a wet oil tank. As a result of the poor safety practices aboard the platform the pipe had not been isolated and cleared of all flammable substances. Sparks from the welding torch are expected to have ignited vapours in the pipe, which then rushed into the wet oil tank, igniting it, along with the two adjacent dry tanks, in a huge explosion.

West Delta 32 platform

The investigation held Black Elk Energy accountable for failing to create an effective safety culture amongst the contractors working on the rig, meaning that the contractors ignored official safety precautions when carrying out hot work, the name given to any practices, such as welding, that require high temperature sources of heat.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, along with the Coast Guard, said that some of the contractors on-board were unwilling to speak out about safety concerns they might have had, due to fears that they would lose their jobs.

Related article: Rig Fire Exposes Lingering Dangers of Offshore Drilling

Brian Salerno, the director of the Bureau of Safety, said that “these failures reflect a disregard for the safety of workers on the platform,” and “are the antithesis of the type of safety culture that should guide decision-making in all offshore oil and gas operations.”

Black Elk Energy initially released their own third-party investigation that tried to absolve them of any guilt and blame the entire incident on its contractors. The report said that: “Compass which was contracted by Black Elk to manage and oversee construction modifications and coordinate all of the companies working on the platform. Wood Group, which was tasked by Black Elk with managing production equipment and serving as the “person in charge” at the time of the accident. Grand Isle Shipyard, which was hired by Black Elk Energy to provide workers for construction projects at the West Delta 32 complex. DNR Offshore Crewing Services, which was contracted by Grand Isle Shipyard to recruit workers from the Philippines.”

Newer studies have determined that Black Elk Energy, as leaseholder and operator of the platform, was responsible for ensuring that its contractors worked together in a safe manner.

By. Joao Peixe Oilprice.com



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News