BSEE Identifies Dead GoM Crewmember
The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has identified the Pacific Drilling crewmember who died last week. Sam Whitley of Hope, Maine was 34 years old and had been employed by Pacific Drilling since January. Whitley is survived by his wife and three children.
The incident occurred on October 20 on the Pacific Santa Ana drillship that was about 200 miles south of Lake Charles, Louisiana. The vessel was operating in 4,800 feet of water on the Chevron-operated Keathley Canyon Block 96. The Pacific Santa Ana is in a five-year contract with Chevron that began in 2012.
Chevron is the operator on the lease, owning a 36 percent interest. BP and ConocoPhillips also have interests in the site, owning 34 percent and 30 percent respectively.
BSEE and the US Coast Guard investigations are ongoing, but no further details have been released.
The Pacific Santa Ana is one of eight drillships in Pacific’s fleet. The ships were built to Chevron’s specifications and delivered in 2012. According to Chevron, the Pacific Santa Ana was the first drillship capable of performing dual-gradient drilling, which uses two different drilling fluids with different weights to facilitate high-depth drilling.