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23/08/2013: Statement on the Release of the Report of the Investigation Commissioned by Black Elk Energy on the 16 November 2012 Accident in the Gulf of Mexico

23 August 2013

On Wednesday, 21 August 2013, Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations, LLC, released the report of the investigation it had commissioned to determine the circumstances behind the 16 November 2012 explosion and fire in one of its offshore oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

Three Filipino offshore workers died as a result of the accident at Black Elk’s West Delta 32 Platform off the coast of Louisiana. Three other Filipino workers sustained serious burns in the incident. Another three suffered minor injuries.

The Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines does not intend to comment on the thorough investigation that was supposed to have been conducted by ABS Consulting, the so-called independent consultant hired by Black Elk Energy that also cleared the Houston-based company of responsibility over the accident.

The Embassy would like to wait for the release next month of the results of the official investigation conducted by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) of the Department of the Interior in which the Filipino workers involved in the accident were given the opportunity to participate.

The Embassy, however, takes note of the statement of Black Elk President John Hoffman reiterating his recognition of the reputation of Filipino offshore oil workers for competence and professionalism.

The Embassy continues to assist the affected workers and is prepared to take all actions to ensure that their rights are fully protected and their claims properly addressed.