BSEE Sets Up Investigation Panel for Shell Oil Spill In GoM

USCG photo courtesy of Marine Safety Unit Morgan City

Shell and the USCG have recovered approximately 2,012 barrels (more than 84,000 gallons) of an oil-water mixture following the release of oil from its subsea infrastructure at Glider field in the Gulf of Mexico.

The joint response mobilized more than 150 people, five on-water recovery vessels for skimming, and aerial assets to respond to the sheen. One vessel will remain in the area to assess potential environmental impacts from the release.

There have been no reported impacts to the coastline or fisheries.

The nearby Brutus tension-leg platform has resumed production from Shell’s unaffected direct vertical access wells; Glider and other subsea fields remain shut-in. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said it will not approve production restart of these subsea fields until all safety concerns and applicable regulations have been met.

BSEE approved Shell’s plans to remove and secure the damaged segment of the subsea flow line at Glider, and work is underway. BSEE is leading the investigation of the incident. There have been no reported injuries throughout the response.

BSEE Gulf of Mexico Regional Director Lars Herbst formally established an Investigative Panel May 16. The seven-member panel is comprised of BSEE engineers, inspectors, and investigators. The panel will conduct a thorough investigation of the incident in order to identify the causes and any contributing issues that led to the release.

The panel will make recommendations in its final report on how to strengthen existing safety and environmental management systems, and identify any reforms to existing regulations that may be needed. The focus of these recommendations is to prevent a similar incident from occurring.


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