Oil Platform Explosion: Company Claims No Oil Spill Occurred In Gulf

There was an explosion about 12 miles off of the coast of New Orleans on an oil platform on Thursday afternoon, leaving three people injured and one dead. The platform belonged to Fieldwood Energy, and although it has been contained, more details keep trickling in.

According to a statement from the CEO of Fieldwood Energy, the incident is fully contained.

“This was an isolated incident that has been fully contained. The facility was not damaged and there was no pollution that resulted from the incident.”

Officials have not identified the deceased worker, or the three that were injured. Although the company said that all three workers were treated in an unnamed medical facility. One of the workers was seriously injured, though all of them have been released.

Aside from the condition of the workers, the big concern for the locals is pollution. The memory of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, and the subsequent oil spill, is still vivid in the minds of affected coastal residents.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the company claim that the platform was not producing oil at the time of the explosion, so none spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. The statement explained the situation with more detail.

“The explosion that was mentioned in the initial reports was not a well explosion or well blowout. Instead, it was an isolated pressure event that occurred inside the heater treater and did not result in a fire on the platform. This incident was not related to a drilling operation but, instead, occurred during maintenance operations at the platform. There was no oil spill or pollution that resulted from this incident and it was contained immediately after it occurred with no damage to the environment, the platform, or the platform’s wells.”

Although ThinkProgress was quick to point out that a non-producing platform can still leak oil, whether that’s the case with this particular explosion remains unclear.

According to an investigation from the Associated Press, there are about 27,000 abandoned oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico, and no one is checking to see if they’re leaking. The derelict wells are allowed because of easily circumvented regulations that require a minimal amount of evidence that the wells will be reopened in the future.

As for the Fieldwood Energy platform explosion, more details will likely come out in the near future. The people of the gulf coast will be happy to avoid another oil spill, but platform maintenance and safety is still a serious issue.

[Image Credit: Berardo62/Wikimedia Commons]