BSEE Report Issued After Accident on GOM Shelf Offshore Platform

by | Aug 3, 2023 | Offshore accidents, Personal Injury

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has released its investigation report following a March 12, 2023 incident on GOM Shelf’s Main Pass 311B Platform.  During the incident, two workers from Louisiana Safety Systems were injured when stainless steel tubing ruptured due to pressure.

The BSEE report documents the sequence of events in the incident:

On 12 March 2023, at approximately 1600 hours, the technicians had completed their work on 17 casing valves, and had 3 valves left to finish. The technicians were in the process of greasing and opening and closing the production casing valves of the QAY B18 when they heard a sound of gas flowing through the valve. The B-18 well is an outof-service well with dual 2 inch production casing valves installed flange to flange.

At 1628 hours, one of the LSS technicians (IP #1) immediately attempted to shut the production casing valve closest to the tree. While IP #1 was shutting the valve, the 1 inch SS tubing immediately downstream of the dual casing valves ruptured. The force of the escaping gas knocked IP #1 off the 4 foot aluminum stand he was standing on to operate the manual valves, down onto the grating 4 feet below. IP #2 was standing about 2 feet from the tree when the tubing ruptured. IP #2 was hit in the face and chest by the force of the gas and was knocked backwards off his feet onto the deck as well. As IP #2 gained his senses, he struggled to his feet and attempted to render aid to IP #1 who appeared dazed, while laying on the deck. IP #2 attempted to drag IP #1 out of harm’s way of the escaping gas, but was unable to move him very far. IP #2 headed up the stairs to get help and activated one of the Emergency Shutdown (ESD) stations along the way

During the investigation, BSEE determined there were numerous failures that allowed this incident to occur.  The report documents:

The BSEE Investigation has determined that, when the two (2) LSS Technicians arrived, they were under the impression that there was zero (0) pressure on the B-18 well production casing. They were not advised of any special concerns or hazards that they needed to be aware of when asked. In the interview of the LSS Technicians, it was revealed that they were told by the PIC, “go figure it out, do your job”. The failure to perform a pre-job hazard walkthrough was confirmed in the GOM Shelf’s internal investigative report.

It is industry practice to conduct Job Safety Analyses and perform pre-job hazard walkthroughs.  There is simply no excuse for the failure to do so.  The incident shows the importance of adequate job planning and safety meetings.

BSEE determined the incident’s probable cause:

Human Performance Error: Not aware of the hazards. The LSS Technicians were unaware of the hazard (extremely high gas pressure, 4330 psi) upstream of the 2 inch production casing valve prior to starting their job.

Equipment Failure: Capacity exceeded. The 1 inch SS production casing tubing line (rated for approximately 3100 psi) was overpressured by the 4330 psi flowing from the well into the production casing.

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 on offshore platforms, including previously suing Shell for offshore platform injuries. 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 accident.  Please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or to learn more about your legal rights.