Cleaning ops caused GoM platform blast

Offshore Energy Today has reported on Friday that an explosion occurred on a Fieldwood Energy-operated Echo platform located in West Delta 105 block in the Gulf of Mexico. The company has released an update saying that it was a result of a cleaning operation. 

The incident occurred when employees of Turnkey Cleaning Services were cleaning a heater treater, which is a piece of equipment that separates oil from water and other liquids, Fieldwood Energy says. Turnkey Cleaning Services is a Louisiana based industrial cleaning service company that specializes in the cleaning of offshore facilities, including the cleaning of heater treaters.

During the cleaning process, one Turnkey employee was fatally injured and a second suffered visible injuries. The Turnkey employee who suffered visible injuries was immediately flown to West Jefferson Hospital for evaluation and treatment. The company says that two other individuals, who were on the platform, complained of ringing in their ears, so they also were flown to the same hospital to be evaluated. All three of these individuals have been evaluated and released from the hospital. According to the company, all other personnel on the platform have been accounted for and are safe.

“There was no oil spill or pollution that resulted from this incident and it was contained immediately after it occurred with no damage to the environment, the platform, or the platform’s wells.”

The company explained that West Delta 105 “E” platform had not been producing oil or gas for over a week, as the facility was undergoing routine maintenance operations when the incident occurred and added that there were no wells that were producing at the time of the incident.

Not a well explosion

Fieldwood Energy says that the explosion that was mentioned in the initial reports was not a well explosion or well blowout. Instead, it was an isolated pressure event that occurred inside the heater treater and did not result in a fire on the platform. This incident was not related to a drilling operation but, instead, occurred during maintenance operations at the platform, Fieldwood Energy said.

In a statement issued by the company it is emphasized that, “There was no oil spill or pollution that resulted from this incident and it was contained immediately after it occurred with no damage to the environment, the platform, or the platform’s wells”.

“We do not have additional details at this point. We are working hand in hand with BSEE, the Coast Guard, and Turnkey Cleaning Services to investigate this incident fully,” said Fieldwood Energy.

“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family of the deceased Turnkey Cleaning Services employee.”

Image: BOEM

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