Category: Accidents

Black Elk turns over safety audit plan to regulators

Black Elk Energy has turned over documents to federal regulators and investigators probing last month’s fatal blaze at one of the firm’s offshore production platforms. The contractor that was working at the site has rebuffed similar requests for information.  More »

ConocoPhillips reaches deals over Alaska spills

ConocoPhillips has agreed to federal and state civil penalties of about $200,000 for spills of crude oil and contaminated water from corroded pipe in Alaska’s Kuparuk Oil Field in 2006 and 2007.  More »

Crews to continue work on well spraying oily mist

Crews on Friday are resuming work on an oil well about nine miles west of Parshall that has been spraying an oily mist into the air.  More »

Motiva’s Port Arthur refinery had small fire

A small fire and pipe leak occurred at the Motiva Enterprises Port Arthur refinery late Tuesday at its new and under-repair crude distillation unit.  More »

After spill, offshore enforcement remains murky

Nearly three years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the government agency that oversees offshore energy development still uses an opaque and unwieldy enforcement process that appears to give companies more leverage than the regulators policing them.  More »

Black Elk launches probe of fatal platform fire

Black Elk Energy is conducting an internal investigation into what caused an explosion on one of its Gulf of Mexico oil platforms last month, killing three workers and injuring others.  More »

Critic questions way coal firms build slurry ponds

Slurry pond failures like the one that swallowed a bulldozer and its driver last week at a West Virginia coal mine could be avoided if the waste pits were built to strict construction standards that regulators ignore, said a mine safety expert and frequent critic of the coal industry.  More »

Shale enters the discussion at Arctic conference

Amid talk of ice-breaking boats and tools for Arctic oil spill cleanup, the shale revolution found its way into a Houston conference Wednesday, with an expert highlighting the potential of Alaska’s shale resources.  More »

Tools without sparks could save lives offshore

The spinning edge of the grinder blade makes contact with the steel, but no sparks rain out from the edge like fireflies shot from a harvester.  More »

Judge tosses spill claims against dispersant maker

A federal judge presiding over litigation spawned by the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill has dismissed all claims against the manufacturer of a chemical dispersant that was used to break up crude gushing from BP’s blown-out well.  More »

Homeowners suing over Wis. gas pipeline spill

Homeowners sued over a massive gasoline spill in southeastern Wisconsin this summer that has contaminated many of their wells, their attorneys said.  More »

Democrats press Grand Isle Shipyards for info on fatal production platform fire

Leading House Democrats are broadening their probe into what caused a fatal offshore production platform fire by scrutinizing the contractor working on the facility when it ignited last month.  More »

Worker at Valero’s Memphis refinery dies

A worker at Valero Energy Corp.’s Memphis refinery died Monday after being exposed to propane and hydrofluoric acid.  More »

Officials fine Texas Brine $100,000 over sinkhole

Louisiana officials have fined Texas Brine Co. $100,000 over the company’s failure to follow state orders on a giant Assumption Parish sinkhole.  More »

Steffy: What does it take to get booted from the Gulf?

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement sent to Houston’s Black Elk Energy raises the question of whether Dean Wormer from “Animal House” has come out of retirement to oversee safety in the Gulf of Mexico.  More »