Oil Rig Accidents

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Oil Rig Injuries

Company Profiles – Hercules Offshore Inc.

Hercules Offshore Inc. was founded in 2004 and has its headquarters in Houston, Texas. Its core business is providing drilling and other marine services to oil companies in their exploration and production efforts, mainly in shallow water applications.

The company has a fleet of 18 jack-up rigs and 19 liftboats which they use to serve independent oil and gas companies. Among the services offered are:

  • Development drilling
  • Well services
  • Platform inspection
  • Platform maintenance
  • Decommissioning operations

Filing for Bankruptcy

In December 2016, Hercules Offshore Inc. filed for bankruptcy. The court hearing is scheduled for August 2017. However, the company’s plan to liquidate is facing resistance from investors who were hoping for a turnaround in the company’s fortunes with rebounding oil prices.

This is the organization’s second Chapter 11 filing in its short existence. Although the company takes the position that it can do little else in an extremely competitive energy market, more than half of its shareholders rejected their plan in a recent vote.

Shareholders backed Hercules and helped the company through its first bankruptcy case and see merit in the reorganization of the enterprise that would allow them to continue operating. However, Hercules plans to sell its offshore rigs and other oil drilling equipment to pay its creditors.


Hercules is a global provider of contract drilling rigs and liftboats for shallow water applications. Their equipment is provided for both exploration and production purposes and their customer base extends from smaller national oil companies to large multinationals. The company offers other services including platform maintenance, inspection and decommissioning.

Hercules owns an extensive fleet of jack-up rigs which have been employed in oil fields all over the world. These rigs are capable of drilling up to a maximum depth of 35,000 feet. They are designed to operate in shallow water, in depths ranging from 9 to 400 feet.

The company’s liftboats are mainly in service in the oil fields of the Middle East and West Africa.  Their fleet of 19 liftboats gives them the versatility to operate in most demanding shallow water applications. The equipment has specifications that offer a range of leg length, maximum water depth, crane load capacity, deck loads and deck area.

Liftboats are more cost-effective than traditional derrick vessels, especially for exploration and development work. They are self-propelled and self-elevating, with large and open decks that include berthing for the crew.

Hercules Offshore employs highly trained personnel for inspection and maintenance services. They ensure that all equipment conforms to industry regulations and operating standards.

Accidents and Injuries

Hercules Offshore has been involved in several accidents recently:

  • July 2013. A jack-up drilling rig belonging to Hercules caught fire after a natural gas well in the Gulf of Mexico ruptured. No one was on board the rig when the fire started as all 44 people aboard had been evacuated after the rupture was detected. No one was injured in this accident.
  • December 2012. A worker suffered a head injury after being struck by an anchor post that broke on a drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. On investigation, BSEE inspectors determined negligence and inadequate planning of the operation to be the cause of the accident.
  • January 2008. One worker died of a head injury when he was cutting supporting straps to a pollution pan on the deck of a rig. The pan fell, and the worker went with it, striking his head on a metal beam. Another worker, who was uninjured in the accident, subsequently sued the company for gross negligence and wanton disregard for safety.
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