BSEE panel releases investigation report on fatality on Eugene Island platform

Nov. 22, 2023
Agency releases its report on a May 15, 2021, incident on a Fieldwood Energy platform.

Offshore staff 

NEW ORLEANS – The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has released its panel investigation report on a May 15, 2021, incident that resulted in a fatality aboard the Fieldwood Energy Eugene Island 158 #14 platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to BSEE, Fieldwood Energy was utilizing Island Operating Company contract employees to assist it with conducting operations in Eugene Island block 158, approximately 40 miles offshore Louisiana, when the incident occurred. 

The investigative panel, which included BSEE subject matter experts, engineers, inspectors, and specialized investigators, conducted its investigation to determine the probable cause, contributing causes, and contributing factors that led to the fatality of a contracted operator conducting a pressure test on a 16-in. casing. 

After a thorough investigation and analysis, BSEE found a probable cause as well as multiple contributing causes and contributing factors that are detailed in the investigation panel’s report. 

BSEE’s recommendations to minimize the likelihood that a similar incident will occur in the future include: 

  • Industry should use a hazards analysis to develop procedures to provide to personnel performing the operations, and to enable implementation of all necessary measures of hazard mitigation. All non-routine operations should undergo a hazards analysis by personnel with the appropriate level of expertise.
  • Industry should consider implementing processes to assess the risk presented by individual inactive wells and use this assessment to prioritize abandonment.
  • Any time temporary equipment is utilized where the source pressure is greater than any downstream components’ pressure rating, a pressure regulating device and a pressure safety valve should be installed. 

More BSEE investigative details can be found in the full report

A BSEE Safety Alert has been sent to offshore operators and can be found here