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A July 24, 2013 photo by the U.S. Coast Guard shows a natural gas fire aboard the Hercules 265 rig that caused significant damage and forced the evacuation of the crew. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)

Investigation faults slow response and equipment failure in 2013 blowout of Gulf well

Workers reacted too slowly to stop a Gulf of Mexico well blowout that forced the evacuation of 44 people and ignited a fire that raged for two days in 2013, according to a federal investigation.
Commercial vessels spray water on the fire aboard the West Delta 32 production platform. (Coast Guard photo)

Houston’s Black Elk Energy facing criminal charges for fatal Gulf explosion

Houston-based Black Elk Energy faces six criminal counts for a blast at a Gulf of Mexico production platform that killed three workers and injured others.
Plains All American Pipeline personnel and first responders work to place boom in Little Silver Creek in Illinois, after oil spilled from a pump station. Rains washed some of the estimated 4,200 gallons of spilled crude into the creek, and workers were trying to keep it from migrating into a nearby lake that serves as a source of drinking water for Highland, Ill. (Photo: Plains)

Workers cleaning oil spilled from Plains All American pump station near St. Louis

The incident marks the second significant spill this year for Houston-based Plains, which is still trying to clean up crude from southern California beaches contaminated after more than 100,000 gallons of oil escaped a pipeline in May. A House committee is set to grill the nation’s top pipeline regulator about delayed safety mandates on Tuesday.
(Marcus Bengtsson/Creative Commons)

Shell’s Arctic icebreaker damaged in Alaska

Shell’s contracted ice management vessel, the MSV Fennica, is being examined by marine experts, but it is uncertain how quickly a breach in its hull can be repaired and whether this will delay the company’s hopes to begin drilling an oil well in the Chukchi Sea later this month.
Oceaneering International displays its remotely operated underwater vehicle at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston on Monday. Oceaneering's ROVs took part in repairing damage at a blown-out well during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill five years ago.

OTC: Robots and automation offshore create new safety and cyber risks

Increasing computerization and automation offshore open up the possibility of dangerous disruptions, driven by errant software updates and plugged-in flash drives. One incident has already taken place.
A heavy duty jack-up rig drills over the Forties Echo platform (Apache Corp.)

Supply vessel hits Apache platform; company says no injuries or spills

Apache said the platform has been shut down but there hasn’t been any leak of oil or gas. It’s unclear when production will resume.
Derailed oil tanker train cars burn near Mount Carbon, W.Va., Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. A CSX train carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil derailed in a snowstorm, sending a fireball into the sky and threatening the water supply of nearby residents, authorities and residents said Tuesday. (AP Photo/The Daily Mail, Marcus Constantino)

Wisconsin Democrats want oil train rules on fast track

Four fiery oil train accidents illustrate the need for a rapid phase out of “antiquated” tank cars that are prone to rupture, lawmakers say.

Lawsuit filed in deadly offshore explosion

Separate lawsuits say the companies did not ensure equipment was cleared of all flammable materials and gases.
(Derick E. Hingle/Bloomberg)

Dead offshore worker described as family man and supervisor

Louisiana officials have identified the man who died in a Nov. 20 explosion at an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico.
(Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg)

Fatal explosion came during maintenance work

The fatal explosion came nearly six months after federal drilling regulators warned that the facility had failed to maintain all equipment in a safe condition so as to ensure the protection of the lease and associated facilities.