BSEE Investigates Fatality on Offshore Production Platform


By The Maritime Executive 02-21-2018 07:03:00

The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is conducting an investigation into the death of a contractor at the production platform West Cameron 215A, located 55 nm south of Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Platform operator Energy Resource Technology, a subsidiary of Houston-based Talos Energy, reported that the fatality occurred on the morning of February 17. The victim was removing fire suppresion system piping at the time of the incident. No other personnel were harmed, and there was no pollution as a result of the incident.

"This is a tragic event, and we extend our deepest sympathies to the family, friends, and co-workers of our colleague," said Talos Energy president and CEO Timothy Duncan in a statement. The company is launching its own investigation into the incident.

2016 plea agreement

Energy Resource Technology (ERT) made news in 2016 when it pled guilty and paid a $4 million fine for felony violations of the Clean Water Act and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. Specifically, it admitted to illegally discharging contaminated water, failing to comply with federal regulations on hot work near oil & gas production areas, and failing to comply with federal regulations on blowout preventer testing. 

“It’s imperative that energy extraction be done responsibly and in ways that doesn’t put human health and the environment at risk,” said Ted Stanich, Acting Director of EPA’s criminal enforcement program at the time of the fine. “When oil and gas operators cut corners and break the law, EPA will work with its law enforcement partners to hold them accountable in order to protect human health and the Gulf Coast ecosystem from harm.”

Public listing

Talos, ERT's parent company, is in the process of going public by merging with an existing public company. The merger partner, NYSE-listed Stone Energy, emerged from bankruptcy in early 2017, and in November its board voted unanimously to merge with Talos and take on the Talos name. The combined entity would have a market capitalization of about $2 billion.