The Bullwinkle production platform, operated by Shell, stands in 1,353 feet of water and is 1,736 feet high at its flare boom, making it one of the tallest free-standing structures. It was installed in 1988, after being towed 332 nautical miles out to sea as a colossal base structure, towed by an 853-foot long barge and 12 tugboats. This frame weighed over 50,000 tons and had ten times as much steel as the Eiffel Tower. The $500 million project took five years.

About 150 miles southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana, the structure is located in the Bullwinkle field. It is situated on Green Canyon Block 65.

Production modules were installed in 1989, and the facility began processing oil and gas in 1990. In 1996, it began processing oil/gas from Green Canyon 110, which is about four miles away. That year, a planned expansion added 4,000 tons of equipment and 30,000 square feet of additional surface area. It also added a module on top of the northeast module, creating a two-level unit with gas compression, production separation, and heating capabilities.

For the southeast module, a control building, launcher receivers, hydraulic power units, and separators were added as well as electrical generators, gas compressors, and a 20-ton crane. In addition, a 60,000 barrel per day capacity pipeline and chemical storage were integrated. Modifications to the intermediate pressure separator were planned too. The expansion increased the rig’s processing capacity to 200,000 barrels of oil and 306 million cubic feet of gas per day.

Incident History

November 2005: A small fire was spotted by an employee in a cable tray, near the mud pit, while he was monitoring trip tank displacements. He immediately put the fire out with a dry chemical extinguisher. The appropriate personnel were then notified. The source was found to be insulation around an overheated component, which was subsequently repaired.

March 1999: No injuries were reported when a small electrical fire began from a shorted oil shipping pump. Electrical power was cut, and the fire detection system triggered. There were no continuous flames seen, and the switchgear near the equipment had some smoke deposits. The incident was also the second time the same transformer failed, which was attributed to an insulation problem.

July 1998: An equipment failure and leak was caused by improperly torqued nuts on flanges, reducing compression on a ring seal. No injuries were involved.

June 1998: An operator sustained first degree burns from a flash fire originating from a diesel generator. It began to surge during a thunderstorm, and the fire started when the worker went to turn the equipment on.

March 1997: While removing an orifice plate, a worker fractured his finger as he was using a wrench. Following medical treatment, he returned to work that day. A follow-up examination revealed he needed surgery to address the injury.

Contact us using our online web form if you have been injured on the job at the Bullwinkle platform, and detailed information on how to proceed will be provided.

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