Royal Dutch Shell Auger Platform Accident Kills Two & Injures One
On Sunday, two workers were killed after a training exercise accident on Royal Dutch Shell’s Auger Tension Leg Platform. An additional worker received treatment at a nearby hospital and was released. The incident occurred in the Gulf of Mexico’s deepwater, about 214 miles south of New Orleans. Officials from the United States Coast Guard and the Interior Department are currently investigating the accident. Shell has also stated that it will launch an internal investigation.
The accident occurred in the early morning during a routine safety exercise meant to help crews practice the platform’s processes for launching and retrieving lifeboats. After the accident, the platform’s operations were not shut down, and neither federal officials or Shell have released further details.
Three Fatal U.S. Offshore Platform Accidents in Three Months
Officials from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) have expressed concerned over safety practices on offshore platforms due to recent fatal incidents. In June, BSEE Regional Director Lars Herbst noted that there are two fatal offshore platform accidents that the agency is investigating.
One deadly accident occurred on Renaissance Offshore’s Platform B and the second occurred on Chevron’s Genesis Platform A. Both incidents occurred between 150 and 170 miles southwest of New Orleans. The Shell Auger's accident represents the third deadly incident on an American platform in just two months.
In a statement about the deadly accidents, Herbst said, “The safety of workers must be of the utmost priority for offshore operators.” He continued with by stating that both of the prior accidents “involved workers falling through platform decks to a lower elevation or to the water’s surface. We are issuing a safety alert to the industry with recommendations to reduce the likelihood of similar incidents in the future.”
The BSEE issues safety alerts when the agency believes that the oil and gas industry might have a widespread safety issue. Notably, the earlier accidents both involved workers falling overboard into Gulf waters. These alerts contain recommendations that companies should follow to prevent more deadly accidents from happening.
Arnold & Itkin’s offshore accident attorneys will follow all updates released about this deadly accident.