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Legal Blog

Incident on Talos Platform Raises Concerns for Oil Workers

Two maritime workers discussing job specifics

A fatal oil rig accident occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in February 2018. A worker from a rig operated by Energy Resource Technology GOM, LLC (ERT), a subsidiary of Talos Energy LLC, was injured while replacing broken down fire suppression equipment. The worker later died of his injuries. Talos, which is based in Houston, has launched an internal investigation into the accident and is collaborating with government investigators. With the assistance of a maritime injury lawyer, the family of the deceased oil and gas worker will likely be able to recover compensation from Talos.

If you or your loved one has suffered a fixed platform injury, it is in your best interest to reach out to a Houston maritime injury lawyer for help. Contact The Krist Law Firm, P.C. today to schedule a free, initial consultation at (281) 283-8500.

Talos Subsidiary ERT Has a Pattern of Safety Violations

According to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), a federal regulatory agency that’s part of the Department of Interior, 29 lives were lost between 2009 and 2016 in offshore drilling accidents. 11 of those fatalities resulted from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster alone. The BSEE data also shows that in October 2013, ERT lost another worker in a fatal drilling accident.

Just before the 2013 accident occurred, ERT was placed on a safety improvement plan because federal regulators had noted multiple deficiencies in its safety equipment and protocols. In 2016, the company pleaded guilty to numerous charges, including failure to meet blowout prevention testing regulations, violations of the Clean Water Act, and tampering with water discharge samples used in testing. As a result, the organization was placed on three years probation and forced to pay $4.2 million in fines.

Talos, which acquired ERT in 2013, has done its best to clean up the company. It self-reported some of ERT’s violations and conducted a complete internal review of the company’s operations. As a result, Talos fired several employees involved with the violations and improved its training program. But, this year’s fatality possibly shows that these efforts were insufficient to correct ERT’s pattern of unsafe operations.

Trump Administration Cutting Oil Platform Safety Regulations

Oil and gas rig workers have reason to be concerned for their safety because the Trump Administration is taking away some of the industry’s safety regulations put in place after the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Among other things, the 2016 Well Control Rule required:

  • Third-party certification of blowout prevention systems
  • The shut down of wells when certain classes of vessels are nearby
  • Real-time well monitoring
  • Underwater vehicle standards
  • Updated emergency procedures

The BSEE is considering the removal or modification of around 18 percent of the Well Control Rule’s 342 provisions. By easing and removing some of these requirements, the BSEE estimates that energy companies will save almost a $1 billion over the next ten years. But, it’s also likely that rig workers will face higher risks on the job.

A Houston Offshore Injury Attorney Can Help You

If you or a loved one has been severely injured on an oil or gas platform, an oil industry lawyer can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve. At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., our Houston offshore injury lawyers can ease the stress of the compensation process and help optimize your case outcome. To learn more about how our Houston maritime lawyers can assist you, contact (281) 283-8500 today for a free case consultation.