A routine safety exercise that went wrong at Shell’s Auger platform in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico has claimed the lives of two people, injuring one.
According to the company, the incident occurred at the time of testing mandatory safety equipment. The test was related to ‘a lifeboat launch and retrieval capabilities’ at the Auger platform which is located 214 miles south of New Orleans.
A Shell employee and a contractor with oilfield services provider Danos were killed during the safety exercise.
Shell was quoted by Reuters as saying that the platform remains in operation and there has been no impact to the environment. The platform is also stable and is currently producing.
The US Coast Guard and the Federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement have launched an investigation to determine the cause of the incident. Shell also plans to carry out an internal investigation and is cooperating with federal authorities.
Shell told media sources: “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. We deeply regret this loss of life within our Shell family and community.”
Auger, which started production in September 2014 in the Cardamom oil and gas field, was the world’s first tension leg platform, operating in the Gulf of Mexico. According to the company’s website it was the first to float in water, moored to the sea floor 830m below.