24 November 2014, News Wires – A contractor killed in an explosion at a Fieldwood Energy platform in the US Gulf of Mexico on Thursday was cleaning a heater treater when the blast occurred, the operator said on Friday.
Employees of Turnkey Cleaning Services contracted by shelf producer Fieldwood were working at the West Delta 105 E platform on Thursday afternoon cleaning the piece of equipment that separates oil from water and other liquids. Turnkey Cleaning Services is a Louisiana-based outfit that specialises in cleaning offshore facilities.
An explosion occurred at some point during the cleaning process, Fieldwood said, describing the blast as “an isolated pressure event that occurred inside the heater treater and did not result in a fire on the platform”.
One worker was fatally injured and a second “suffered visible injuries” and was flown to hospital for treatment. Another two workers “complained of ringing in their ears” and were also flown to hospital.
All three of the injured have since been released, according to Fieldwood, and all other personnel on the platform have been accounted for. The platform, which was not damaged, is located about 12 miles offshore Louisiana.
“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family of the deceased Turnkey Cleaning Services employee,” Fieldwood said in a statement.
The platform had been shut down for maintenance and had not produced any oil or gas for more than a week, Fieldwood said.
“The explosion… was not a well explosion or well blowout,” the company said, adding that the incident “was not related to a drilling operation but, instead, occurred during maintenance operations at the platform”.
The US Bureau of Safety & Environmental Enforcement confirmed that there was no oil spill or other pollution.
Fieldwood said it is “working hand in hand with BSEE, the Coast Guard, and Turnkey Cleaning Services to investigate this incident fully”.