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Oil workers sue Shell over Gulf of Mexico platform fire


HOUSTON (Reuters) – Three offshore oil workers filed a lawsuit against units of Royal Dutch Shell and Enbridge, seeking $1 million in damages for injuries they allegedly received during a Nov. 8 fire on a U.S. Gulf of Mexico production platform. The suit, filed in Galveston County court in Texas on Dec. 5, claims safety lapses on Shell’s Enchilada platform caused severe injuries to the three. The complaint seeks more than $1 million in damages from Shell International Exploration and Production, Shell Offshore, and Garden Banks Gas Pipeline Co, a unit of Enbridge, which owns a gas pipeline connected to the platform.

A Shell spokesman declined to comment, citing the lawsuit and an ongoing investigation into the fire by regulator the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Enbridge did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

The Enchilada platform caught fire and 46 crew members were evacuated to a nearby platform. The facility, about 112 nautical miles south of Vermilion Bay, Louisiana, has been shut since the fire. No date for resuming operations has been set, Shell said on Monday.

The fire halted operations at other oil platforms, including Shell’s Auger and Salsa.

The halt in platform operations also affected oil producer Hess Corp, which has been forced to curb production at three nearby fields until the platform and pipeline is restarted, the companies have said.

Reporting by Gary McWilliams, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien


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