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Two Killed in Lifeboat Drill Accident on Shell's Auger Platform

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Lifeboats and davit systems on the Auger platform, center left (file image courtesy Shell)

By The Maritime Executive 2019-07-01 13:40:43

On Sunday morning, two workers on Royal Dutch Shell's Auger platform in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico were killed during a routine lifeboat launch and retrieval exercise. Another was injured and evacuated to a hospital for treatment. 

One of the deceased was a Shell employee, and the other worked for Danos, an oilfield services firm. The injured individual worked for Shell. The names of those involved have not yet been released for privacy reasons. 

"In the over 40 years that Shell has operated in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico we have strived, above all, to ensure our people go home safely to their loved ones. It's devastating when they do not," Shell said in a statement to media. "We deeply regret this loss of life within our Shell family and community."

The U.S. Coast Guard and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) are conducting an investigation, in parallel with Shell's own internal inquiry. 

Auger was the first tension leg platform installed in the Gulf of Mexico. In 1994, it was towed out and anchored in 2,700 feet of water, a pioneering achievement for deepwater oil and gas production. Shell found and developed an adjacent field - dubbed Cardamom - in 2014-5, giving Auger a new lease on life.

Chart of Shell-operated assets off the coast of Louisiana; Auger is at bottom left (Shell)