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Mariner Energy Vermillion 380 Explosion

The Coast Guard is responding to an offshore oil production platform explosion on the Vermillion Oil production platform 380 .  According to the Coast Guard, the platform explosion occurred 80-90 miles south of Grand Isle, Louisiana, south of Vermillion Bay.  The oil platform both is owned and operated by a relatively small company, Houston-based Mariner Energy .  The offshore oil production platform explosion happened around 9 a.m., and the platform was still burning at last report.

At least one report coming from Louisiana has revealed that a fire may have started in the crew quarters.  The Vermillion 380 is thought to possibly be an older, refurbished rig or platform in an old field.

Vermillion 380 is not currently producing oil or gas .  Apache Corp. recently purchased Mariner Energy in a multi-billion dollar deal and recently agreed to buy BP assets in order to help the British oil giant meet its financial obligations as a result of its Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The fixed-production platform is situated in shallow water 80 miles south of Vermillion Bay in the Gulf of Mexico.  Called the Vermillion 380 rig after the oil-and-gas field over which it’s located, it produced 1.1 billion cubic feet of gas in 2009.

Local reports indicate that all 13 crewmembers have been accounted for.  The 13 people in the water were picked up by the OSV Crystal Clear and taken to another platform.  However, one crewmember was injured in this maritime accident and has been taken to the hospital.

Since right now our maritime lawyers believe that the Mariner Energy production platform is a fixed platform, and possibly not a Jones Act vessel.  However, even if the oil production platform is not considered a Jones Act vessel and thus is not eligible for Jones Act coverage, the injured seamen and offshore workers will have maritime injury claims against related third parties, including the well owner, Apache Corporation .

Our Louisiana maritime lawyers are speaking with international media and local Louisiana lawyers we know and trust right now, trying to find out the facts.  Please follow maritime lawyer Matthew D. Shaffer on Twitter  today for up to the minute information on the Vermillion explosion.  The hashtag seems to be #vermillion so far.

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