An investigation by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement says that a number of violations and deficiencies contributed to the fire on an offshore platform off the coast of Louisiana last year.  According to the investigation, one of the reasons for the fire was the collapse of a tube inside a piece of equipment that had been exposed to heat and corrosion.

The incident on the Mariner Energy Vermillion 380-A offshore oil platform occurred in September after the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.  The incident occurred about 120 miles off the Louisiana coast.   There were 13 people working on the offshore platform, and they were forced to jump into the ocean.  Fortunately, the crewmembers were later rescued.

According to the agency, the failure of the nearly 30-year-old piece of equipment was one of the main causes.  Besides, the failure to use the water pump because of the collapse of the generator was another factor.  The investigation also found several incidents of noncompliance.

Mariner Energy is likely to be facing civil penalties in this incident.  According to the investigator’s report, this incident underscores the need for operators to maintain their equipment and ensure that it is in compliance with all existing standards.

The maritime lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers represent maritime workers injured in offshore oil rig, and offshore oil platform accidents in the Gulf of Mexico and across the globe.  We have blogged about the Vermillion incident before.