Two Killed During Lifeboat Drill at Shell’s Auger Platform in Gulf of Mexico

auger tension leg platform
A file photo shows an aerial view of the Auger Tension Leg Platform in the deep-water US Gulf of Mexico in foreground. Photo courtesy Shell via Flickr

Royal Dutch Shell has confirmed two fatalities from an accident during a routine lifeboat drill at its Auger tension leg platform in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico on Sunday. One other worker sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the accident.

“The incident occurred at approximately 10 AM (CST) June 30, 2019, during a routine and mandatory test of our lifeboat launch and retrieval capabilities at Auger TLP, which is located 214 miles south of New Orleans in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico,” Shell said in an emailed statement to gCaptain.

One of the workers killed was an employee of Shell while the other a contractor with the company Danos. The injured worker, also a Shell employee, was treated at a nearby and has since been released.

Shell said it is fully cooperating with federal authorities, including the U.S. Coast Guard and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), in their investigations into the incident. Shell has also launched its own internal investigation.

In 1994, ‘Auger’ became Royal Dutch Shell’s first tension-leg platform operating in the deep-water U.S. Gulf of Mexico. It was originally expected to be decommissioned in 2010, but advances in seismic technology led to the discovery of the nearby Cardamom field, which Auger was able to tap into and begin producing in September 2014. It is now Shell’s largest net producing asset in the Gulf of Mexico.