Articles Posted in Oil Rig

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A lawyer representing the family of Lonnie Jordan, an El Faro crew member, has filed a $100 million lawsuit against TOTE Service Inc. and TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico, as well as the El Faro captain. The ship sank off the Bahamas on October 1st, and search and rescue ended after eight days. On October 5th, the U.S. Coast Guard found a body of a crewmember in a survival suit.

The lawsuit was filed family by attorney Willie E. Gary. Gary has accused the company of negligence and putting profit ahead of the lives of its employees. “We hope to get to the bottom of this,” Gary said. “We are at war now.”

“Tote Services, negligently permitted the El Faro to sail out to sea despite being in an unseaworthy condition to handle the conditions of a violent storm,” the lawsuit states.
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A shift in the approach to safety management of enclosed spaces on board ships is needed. Fifteen years ago, while working as an independent surveyor, I was carrying out a condition survey on board a bulk carrier. The scope of the survey included testing the emergency generator, located in the steering flat and accessed by an inclined ladder.

Accompanied by the superintendent and the chief engineer, we had no sooner reached the bottom of the space when the chief engineer urgently ordered us all out. By the time we had exited the space, within seconds, we were all in a state of dizziness and confusion, compounded by our inability to comprehend what had just occurred. Further investigation revealed that Freon gas had leaked from refrigeration machinery located in the steering flat and being heavier than air, had migrated into the emergency generator space, displacing breathable air. It was a lucky escape. Victims of asphyxiation in enclosed spaces deficient in oxygen will normally receive no such warning that anything is wrong or have the ability to quickly escape.
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The Coast Guard confirmed that a W&T Offshore gas platform located in the Gulf of Mexico caught fire Wednesday morning, forcing three workers to evacuate.

Two of the workers suffered minor injuries as they evacuated the platform located in 120 feet of water about 29 miles south of Terrebonne Parrish, La.’s Dernieres Barrier Island Refuge.

W&T Offshore’s Janet Yang said the accident occurred on an oil-processing platform, not a drilling rig. Yang said she did not believe an active well was located at the site.

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The US Coast Guard has confirmed that the pilot of an offshore helicopter that was on its way to a rig to fetch workers has died in a crash in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana.

The helicopter was on its way to a rig when it went down in the Gulf of Mexico.  Only the pilot was on board at the time.  At the time of the crash, the helicopter was very near the rig it was headed toward. The Helicopter was owned by PHI Inc.

A volunteer dive team quickly recovered the body of the pilot after the crash.  The Coast Guard does not believe that poor visibility was a factor here.  PHI has also not released any official statement about the crash.

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The Rowan EXL-1, a mobile offshore drilling unit, has reportedly been badly damaged after being struck by a tanker that had apparently lost propulsion near Port Aransas.  

According to the U.S.C.G initial statement, watchstanders at Sector Corpus Christi received a report at 7:25 a.m., that the Rowan EXL-1 and the 750-foot tanker FR8 Pride had collided in the Aransas Channel, near buoy 3.
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HOUSTON, TX. — The Justice Department announced Tuesday, April 24, that a former BP engineer has been arrested on two counts of obstruction of justice for destroying evidence in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico.

The former BP engineer, 50-year old Kurt Mix from Katy, Texas, is the first person to be criminally charged by the DOJ. Mix is accused of deleting a string of 200 text messages with a BP supervisor in October 2010 that involved internal BP information about how efforts to cap the Macondo well were failing.

Having an accurate flow-rate estimate was needed to determine how much in civil and criminal penalties BP and the other companies drilling the Macondo well face under the Clean Water Act.

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BP announced on Wednesday, April 18, that they have reached a class-action settlement with lawyers who represent businesses and individuals who made claims after the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The announcement came two days before the two year anniversary of the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster where 11 oil rig workers lost their lives.

A federal judge has to approve the settlement, but BP officials estimate that they will be paying out about $7.8 billion in compensation. Roughly $2.3 billion of that will go to the seafood industry. The money will come from the $20 billion trust fund set up to help revive the area.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA – On Tuesday, January 31, 2012, a Federal Judge ruled in the civil case involving BP, Plc and Halliburton, the company that provided the cement that was supposed to seal off the Macondo well head in the Gulf Oil Spill disaster in April, 2010.

The amount of damages that has been awarded in the aftermath of the Gulf Oil Spill has amounted to $40 billion for cleanup costs, damage claims and economic losses. BP has filed a lawsuit against Halliburton to recover some of the damages that arose out of the disaster.
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Norway’s petroleum safety agency has completed an investigation into a fire that broke out on BPs North Sea Valhall oil platform. The investigation found that the company had committed serious safety breaches which led to the fire.

The fire broke out last July when a crane engine overheated. The sparks ignited inflammable gases, leading to an explosion and fire. Firefighters battled for more than an hour to extinguish the flames.
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Under a legal settlement announced on Friday, Dec 16 by BP, Cameron International, maker of the Deepwater Horizon blowout preventer that failed to stop the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year, has agreed to pay $250 million to BP.

BP said it was “in their mutual best interests, and the agreement is not an admission of liability by either party.” The companies agreed to drop all claims against one another.
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