NEW ORLEANS – The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is responding to a reported fatality on Platform A, Green Canyon Block 18 in the Gulf of Mexico. The platform is located about 150 mi (241 km) south of New Orleans.
Operator Whistler Energy II informed BSEE of the fatality, but further details are unknown at this time. The company currently operates one other lease block in the Gulf of Mexico, Green Canyon 60. It acquired 100% of both blocks and the rig in 2013 for $110 million from an ExxonMobil affiliate and W&T Offshore, Inc.
The platform was originally set in 1987, according to Whistler Energy II; however, the company said the rig underwent a “major refurbishment and upgrade” from the fall of 2013 to 2Q 2015. According to Epic, the project and construction manager on the job, the $25 million update included preparing the platform for drilling operations; gas lift manifold addition; overhaul of the two turbine generators; living quarters refurbishment; mechanical integrity inspection; and many more services.
Production has continued from a separate deck on the rig, which is located in 760 ft (231 m) of water, but BSEE said that drilling operations have been and will remain suspended until it grants approval the to resume.The agency also said its investigators are engaging with Whistler Energy II and will investigate the incident.
No pollution or additional injuries were reported, BSEE said.