The Prince TLP is an oil rig platform located offshore in the Ewing Bank Block in the Gulf of Mexico. The project was completed by El Paso Production Company and Argo, LLC. Installation was completed in 2001. It is about 120 miles from New Orleans operating in what is known as the Prince Field. The platform will serve as a landing spot for future developments and exploration in the area. Oil that is produced here will be transported to the Poseidon Oil Pipeline system while natural gas production will be done through the Manta Ray system.
Prince is a mini TLP platform along with a dynamic rig kit to provide increased flexibility. The Prince field was the first MODEC TLP installation. Installation took under 16 months and allows production of up to 50,000 barrels of crude oil daily. It also provides for 80 million cubic feet of natural gas. The TLP, tension leg platform, is located in almost 1,500 feet of water. The full is moored to the ocean floor using pylons that are 24 inches in diameter. TLP design is less costly than traditional platforms, and the small size makes it able to be placed near other offshore structures. It provides for a faster and easier installation as well.
The structure itself has a deck comprised of three levels with a weight of 1,700 tons. Gas that is produced is exported using a 12-inch pipe that runs to a partner platform located about 14 miles away. From there it is transported through the Manta Ray Offshore Gas Pipeline. Oil from the platform travels through a system connected to the Poseidon Pipeline at Ewing Bank Block 873. In addition to current production, the facility can provide access for potential future development.
Accidents have occurred on offshore platforms including this one. In an accident in 2014, two workers were injured while attempting to pump barite from a supply boat into the storage tanks on the rig. They were instructed to fill the tanks but apparently did not properly perform the task. The hose was still under pressure when one worker thought he heard an instruction to remove it. When disconnecting the hose, it struck both of the men, one in the neck and one in the leg. The men were evacuated for treatment to a hospital on shore.
The incident was reported, and an investigation was done by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). They found that the men, who were being supervised by the crane operator, had a lack of understanding of the task they were performing. In addition, poor communication led to the men disconnecting the hose at the improper time.
Companies are required to make sure that their employees and contractors are safe. This includes proper training and supervision. In cases where a company is negligent, and an accident occurs, the injured worker can be protected by the Jones Act. In some cases, the worker may take legal action against the employer to recover damages incurred because of the accident.
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