An explosion at an offshore oil-and-gas platform belonging to Fieldwood Energy in the Gulf of Mexico killed one worker and injured three others on Thursday afternoon, according to a U.S. safety agency.
The explosion occurred at around 2 p.m. EST at West Delta 105 in the Gulf of Mexico, about 12 miles off the coast of New Orleans, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said, in a statement, adding that the damage to the facility was limited to the explosion area, and there were no reports of pollution in the water.
“The operator has reported that there is one fatality and three others being treated at an onshore medical facility as a result of the incident,” BSEE said, in the statement. “The Echo Platform was not in production at the time of the incident.”
In a statement, Fieldwood said that one employee who died worked for a contract company while a second contractor employee suffered serious injuries. The company did not provide any explanation on the discrepancy in the number of injured persons.
“We have accounted for all other personnel who were working at the facility,” Shannon Savoy, offshore production manager for Fieldwood, said in the statement, obtained by the Wall Street Journal. “This incident just occurred, so we do not have many details at this point.”
Houston-based Fieldwood, which is backed by private equity firm Riverstone Holdings LLC, has been buying Gulf of Mexico wells and lease agreements over the last 18 months. In July 2013, the company bought Apache Corp's Gulf shelf assets for $3.75 billion, followed by another acquisition of SandRidge Energy’s Gulf assets for $750 million in January, Reuters reported.