Two people are dead, four are injured and two others are missing in an explosion on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. 28 people were on the rig at the time of the explosion.
The rig is owned by Houston based Black Elk Energy and is located in West Delta Block 2, about 25 miles southeast of Grand Isle, Louisiana. It is not yet known if a spill has resulted from the incident. Unlike Deepwater Horizon, which blew out in 2010 causing the worst oil spill in American history, the Black Elk rig is a “shallow water” production platform.
The incident came on the heels of a BP settlement agreement to pay out $4.5 billion in penalties related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. BP still faces up to $20 billion in civil fines in that case.
The Black Elk Energy website states that it has commenced drilling the first of 23 new wells in the Gulf of Mexico this month.
The Coast Guard has activated a command center and called in two helicopter teams to assist in the search for the missing workers. Two small boat stations were also sent to the location.
Black Elk Energy was named by the Houston Chronicle as one the top places to work in Houston and in employee surveys ranked 41st out of a list of 150 best places to work.
Just after 11AM Central Time, Black Elk Energy spokeswoman Leslie Hoffman states the fire on the rig has been extinguished.