The U.S. Coast Guard has reported a fire on Shell’s “Enchilada” oil platform, an offshore pipeline hub that is located 160 nm southwest of New Orleans.
Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report at 0120 hours on Wednesday that the platform was burning and two individuals had been injured. A 54-year-old man sustained a concussion and flash burns and a 29-year-old man sustained a concussion and a sprained wrist. Shell coordinated an emergency helicopter medevac to bring them for treatment at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
46 workers evacuated the platform via lifeboat and were taken on board an offshore supply vessel, the C-Liberty, which transferred them to Shell’s nearby “Salsa” platform.
Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile launched a HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew to conduct an overflight. The aircrew reported the fire had mostly dissipated. There is a report of a light sheen north of the platform.
All production associated with Enchilada has been shut in, and the fire has been reduced to a small flame coming out of a pipe on the platform. In a statement, Shell said that it has also shut in its Salsa and Auger platforms, along with nearby wells and a 30-inch gas export pipeline.
Shell, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the Coast Guard are all investigating the cause of the blaze.
At the time of its installation, Enchilada had a design capacity of 60,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) and 400 MMscfd of gas. In addition, it was built to accept up to 18 pipeline risers to serve offshore pipeline systems, with a total export capacity of more than 1.2 bcfd and 250,000 bpd.