The United States Coast Guard said this morning that two offshore workers were injured and more than three dozen evacuated after a fire on the Shell Enchilada offshore platform. Enchilada is an oil and gas transportation and processing hub platform located in the Garden Banks Block 128-A, approximately 130 miles south of Intracoastal City, Louisiana.
The Enchilada platform was installed over 20 years ago to connect Shell’s deepwater oil and gas production. You can view the platform’s location relative to other Shell assets by viewing the map on Shell’s website located here. According to a special report from the Oil & Gas Journal, “[t]he Enchilada platform is a joint venture of Shell Offshore Inc., Amerada Hess Corp., and Pennzoil Exploration & Production Co., but Shell Gas Pipeline Co., Shell Pipe Line Corp., and Garden Banks Gas Pipeline LLC also own portions of the platform.”
The severity of the injuries to the two offshore workers has not yet been reported but hopefully they are not serious. The cause of the fire has also not yet been reported, but in these situations, a full investigation by the Coast Guard, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Shell and any other entities involved will undoubtedly discover the origin. The fact that the Enchilada platform is a hub for processing and downstream distribution increases the potential for disruption to upstream production. In all likelihood, the production platforms upstream have been shut-in to minimize any safety or environmental dangers.
The Lambert Firm has investigated many offshore incidents related to fires and explosions on production platforms. Unfortunately, these incidents are more common than many may realize. Offshore production platforms are inherently dangerous, which is why the well owners and operators have strict rules and guidelines for how the platforms are managed and maintained.
Just this past Friday, Hugh Lambert and Cayce Peterson of The Lambert Firm helicoptered out to the South Timbalier area to inspect a platform in conjunction with an investigation involving one of our clients. If you or a loved one have been injured offshore, it is important to consult confidentially an experienced offshore injury law firm. Even if you ultimately choose not to pursue a lawsuit, you should at least know your rights and options so that you can make informed decisions that have life-changing effects.