November 8, 2017 by
A Shell platform in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico had to be evacuated early Wednesday morning after a fire broke out on board.
Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watchstanders received a report at 1:20 a.m. that Shell’s Enchilada platform was on fire approximately 112 nautical miles south of Vermilion Bay, Louisiana.
The 46 crew members reported aboard the platform were evacuated to a lifeboat and transferred to a nearby platform, Salsa, by the offshore supply vessel C-Liberty.
Two people on board have reported injuries; a 54-year-old male suffered flash burns and a concussion, and a 29-year-old male suffered a sprained wrist and a concussion. Both have been medevaced to the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston.
A Shell spokesperson confirmed the incident in a statement.
“At approximately 1:20 a.m. on Wednesday, November 8, there was an operational incident at the Shell Enchilada platform at Garden Banks 128 in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. We have activated Incident Command, identified the source of the incident, and are actively responding to the situation. An early morning U.S. Coast Guard overflight is complete and there were no signs of oil on the water at that time,” the statement said.
The platform and associated production has been shut in and the fire has been reduced to a small flame coming out of a pipe on the platform, according to the Coast Guard.
There is a report of a light sheen north of the platform, the Coast Guard said.
Shell added that the Salsa platform has been shut down due to the incident. Also, production at the Auger platform and other nearby fields has been shut in.
Shell provided additional details on the incident:
The Enchilada and Salsa platforms were safely shut down. Shell notified authorities of the incident. The safety of our people and the environment are our priorities. All 46 people working on the platform were safely evacuated to Shell’s Salsa asset and a nearby vessel, per emergency response protocol. Two individuals injured in the incident were transferred to a hospital for treatment. The families of these individuals have been notified.
Production at Auger platform and nearby fields have been shut in, in addition to the gas export 30-inch pipeline.
No harm to people or the environment is ever acceptable and Shell deeply regrets that this incident occurred.
We will conduct an investigation to determine the cause.
We have identified the source of the fire at Enchilada, and can confirm that we have contained it. The platform remains intact. For safety reasons, we have chosen not to extinguish the fire while the pipeline is safely depressurized.
BSEE and Coast Guard are jointly investigating the cause of the incident.