BSEE Report Issued for Fire on Oil Platform in Gulf of Mexico

by | Apr 2, 2021 | Offshore accidents

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has released its Accident Report on the fire that occurred on the Viosca Knoll 900 Platform A on December 22, 2020.  The offshore platform is owned and operated by Cox Operating LLC.  During the incident, a fire broke out, resulting in the shutting down of a pipeline on the platform.

The BSEE report, explained the incident:

Per the operator’s report, on 22 December 2020 at approximately 15:30 hours, while operators were making their rounds, a small flame was noticed on the pipeline pump’s exhaust insulation. Once noticed, the operators grabbed a nearby handheld fire extinguisher and extinguished the flame in under a minute. The only damage noted at the time was a plastic dust cover for the air filter’s housing. The pipeline pump was taken OOS.

The BSEE investigation found that the fire resulted from a crack on the pump’s expansion joint.  The crack allowed hot exhaust to contact the air filter housing on the engine. A plastic dust cover located inside the air filter’s access hatch began to melt, which eventually resulted in the fire.  The BSEE report determined the probable cause of the incident:

Equipment failure – Fatigue Over time; the expansion joint may have cycled through hot and cool conditions such that it cracked due to fatigue.

BSEE provided recommendations to prevent recurrence:

  • BSEE NOD recommends incorporating a more frequent and thorough inspection of expansion joints and equipment to help identify these flaws in equipment before they escalate into something more severe.
  • Look into the possibility of finding a dust cover that can withstand higher temperatures than previous and current plastic dust covers.

Our attorneys have extensive experience in maritime injury and wrongful death litigation in courts across the country and the skills needed to represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives as a result of the negligence of another party, or been seriously injured.  We have handled numerous cases involving injuries that occurred following fires or explosions on offshore platforms.  The experienced offshore accident attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of an offshore accident.  Please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your legal rights.