Fire reported on Gulf platform

by on November 16, 2012 4:31 pm GMT

Initial reports said two people had died, but that has not been confirmed. CNBC reported that the fire had been contained around 10:30 am local time.

The four injured were airlifted to the West Jefferson Medical Centre in Louisiana, local reports said, citing the US Coast Guard. Three of them are said to be in critical condition. The agency was not immediately available for confirmation when contacted by Upstream.

Coast Guard Captain Peter Gautier told WWL TV news that there was believed to be 28 people
on the platform when the explosion occurred.

The platform is located south of Grand Isle in West Delta Block 32, where Houston-based Black Elk Energy is the operator.

Black Elk chief executive John Hoffman confirmed the fire to the Houston Business Journal, saying that a construction crew was finishing work on a water skimmer
when, apparently, the wrong line was cut, causing the explosion. The company was not immediately available for comment.

Gautier said the platform was not actively producing oil at the time, lessening the chance that there would be a major environmental disaster. No oil has been reported spilt.

The incident comes just a day after BP was charged a record fine and faces criminal charges for the 2010 Macondo deep-water disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Coast Guard has reportedly set up a command centre to investigate the incident. An update was expected around noon Houston time.

Privately-held Black Elk holds stakes in more than 854 wells on 155
platforms off the coasts of Louisiana and Texas, in
water depths ranging from about 10 feet to more
than 6000 feet,