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A court filing Thursday says the jury trial in New Orleans is scheduled to start on Jan. 17, 2017, and last approximately four weeks.
The blast killed three Filipino workers — Avelino Tajonera, Ellroy Corporal and Jerome Malagapo — and injured several others.
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.
The man who founded and led Black Elk Energy, a Houston firm battered by a fatal 2012 explosion at one of its Gulf of Mexico production platforms, left the company a few weeks ago to try his hand at pumping oil on dry land.
The Justice Department has joined a fight against BP’s efforts at dismissing lawsuits by deep-water drillers and oil-field service firms alleging damages from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys say BP can’t dismiss lawsuits from drillers and oil-field service companies by arguing it was the federal government’s fault they lost money during the Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium in 2010.
Black Elk Energy told investors on Wednesday that it is still dealing with financial damage from the fatal explosion at one of its Gulf of Mexico production platforms last year, even as the Houston-based company faces fines and a potential criminal investigation from the incident.
OceanGate, a Seattle-based provider of deep-water submersible vessels, has released a new crop of underwater images from the federal Rigs to Reefs program, showing sea creatures swimming among the steel legs of an old Black Elk Energy platform.
In their report on the fatal explosion of a Black Elk platform last year, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Coast Guard said that workers who were “worried about losing their jobs if they raised safety concerns” did not call a halt to work “despite apparent anomalies.”
Black Elk Energy has more work to do to satisfy federal regulators it has improved its safety performance, following a fatal platform fire last year. Otherwise, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said the company will remain under a year-old threat that it will be barred from operating in federal waters.