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Understanding offshore oil & gas incidents

On Behalf of | May 31, 2023 | Personal Injury

Since 1942, close to 6,000 oil and gas structures have been installed in the Gulf of Mexico offshore from Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. As of 2023, 90% of the 3,500 oil and gas structures remain active. Most offshore oil and gas structures are designed as rigs for drilling wells. The other structures operate as production platforms for productive well sites. The environmental factors on these networks of volatile structures demand a commitment to following safety protocols.

Understanding offshore oil & gas

More than a half dozen top U.S. oil producers have wells in Mississippi. The counties with the highest 2023 oil production in the state are Rankin, Jasper and Madison. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement was established after the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010. The agency reported more than 270 injuries and over 60 deaths in offshore incidents during 2020. Common workplace hazards include explosions, fires, spills and falls, crush injuries and electrocutions.

More on offshore incidents

The risk of personal injury occurring at an offshore worksite may be reduced by using adequate fall protection equipment, body harnesses, hard hats, anchors and positioning lanyards. These worksites should also be equipped with first-aid kits with emergency supplies adequate for a medic to provide care when a medical facility is too far away. According to the BSEE, 2021 offshore incidents included two fires, four explosions, over 160 injuries, 20 deaths, three collisions and loss of well control four times.

The 20 deaths in 2021 resulted from 15 different offshore incidents. The injury rate at offshore worksites increased by 10% from 2020. Of the 580 lost work day cases reported by the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers, 20% were classified as slip and trips on level ground and 18% were reported as struck by an object not dropped. Close to 30% of the fatalities were reported as the result of a violent act or assault.