Three firms, three people charged in 2012 gulf platform explosion

Three companies and three individuals face criminal charges stemming from a November 2012 offshore oil and gas platform explosion that killed three workers, injured several more people, and spilled crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico (OGJ Online, Nov. 16, 2012), the US Department of Justice and US Attorney’s Office for eastern Louisiana jointly reported.

Indictments named Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations LLC, Grand Isle Shipyards Inc., and Wood Group PSN Inc., as well as Don Moss of Groves, Tex.; Curtis Dantin of Cut-Off, La.; and Christopher Srubar of Destrehan, La.

According to the Nov. 19 indictment, the defendants were involved in different capacities while construction work was being done of the West Delta 32 platform when it exploded.

Black Elk Energy and Grand Isle Shipyards were charged with three counts of involuntary manslaughter, eight counts of failing to follow proper safety practices under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), and one count of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA).

Wood Group PSN and individuals Moss, Dantin, and Srubar were charged with felony violations of OCSLA and the CWA, prosecutors said. They emphasized that indictments are only allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty at trial.

Black Elk Energy failed to properly supervise its contactors, which contributed to a series of events and decisions leading up to the fire and explosion, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement previously said (OGJ Online, Nov. 5, 2013).

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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