The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Tragedy in the Gulf

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted April 21, 2010

Please say a prayer today for our colleagues who were working on the Deepwater Horizon mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) last night when a fire broke out. According to reports, 126 workers were onboard. In a statement, Transocean reports that a "substantial majority" of the crew members are safe, however several workers were injured and some remain unaccounted for at this time. Search and rescue operations are underway.

The oil and natural gas industry believes that any injury or life-threatening situation is a tragedy. While we know that working with highly combustible materials comes with a certain amount of risk, the industry is continually striving to reduce risk, keep workers safe, and protect the environment.

The Deepwater Horizon incident is still unfolding, and it will take time to determine the cause of the fire. After the investigation is completed, the industry pledges to work with regulators and others to prevent a similar occurrence from happening in the future.

rig.jpgThe oil and natural gas industry employs or supports 9.2 million U.S. workers. Each worker is a valued member of the oil and natural gas community and makes a valuable contribution toward meeting the energy needs of every American family.

Transocean's Deepwater Horizon was being leased by BP and was operating 41 miles south of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico in Mississippi Canyon Block 252 when the fire occurred. Last September, the Deepwater Horizon was credited with drilling the world's deepest oil and natural gas well in the Tiber prospect, which is operated by BP and its partners.

The U.S. Coast Guard video of the rescue is available here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.