NEW ORLEANS — An offshore worker died during routine work on a small oil platform off the central Louisiana coast Saturday, bringing the total number of accidental fatalities at oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico to four since March 2020.
The name of the worker has not been released, but Houston-based Fieldwood Energy confirmed the fatality in a statement on its website.
“Fieldwood Energy is committed to safe operations, and the health and well-being of our entire workforce is a top priority,” the statement said. “We are deeply saddened to confirm that on May 15, 2021 a fatal incident occurred involving a contractor at the Eugene Island 158 #14 offshore facility in the Gulf of Mexico during a non-emergency casing pressure test on a shut-in well.”
There was another worker there with the man who died, but he was not injured. The well was safely plugged, so there was no environmental damage, the company said.
The workers were doing a routine check on the metal casing that forms the walls of any subsea well. Something went wrong when that test was being performed. The incident is still being investigated and no more details were available, Fieldwood said.
The unmanned platform is 50 miles due south of Marsh Island. Eugene Island 158 is the name of the 3-by-3 mile square area named and numbered by the U.S. government for mineral leases in the Gulf. The unmanned platform, which is connected to a single well, is identified as platform Number 14.
Fieldwood confirmed to WWL-TV that the worker who died was an employee Island Operating Co., an oilfield contractor based in Scott, La. The station left a message with Island Operating seeking information and comment Monday morning.