DOJ Subpoenas Black Elk for Evidence

The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) subpoenaed Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations LLC for evidence in connection with the November 2012 explosion that killed three workers on board a Gulf of Mexico platform, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

DOJ issued the subpoena Oct. 15, seeking physical evidence collected and maintained by Black Elk and the consultant it hired to examine the cause of the Nov. 16, 2012 explosion.

Earlier this month, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) reported that the explosion and fire on the platform resulted from the failure of Black Elk and its contractors to follow BSEE safety regulations.

Black Elk said in a Nov. 6 press statement that it was cooperating with the BSEE in its investigation of the explosion and fire at the West Delta 32 platform.

ABSG Consulting, the third party consultant hired by Black Elk to investigate the incident, reported that the fire and explosion were caused by the failure of contractors to follow standard safety practices.

Karen Boman has more than 10 years of experience covering the upstream oil and gas sector. Email Karen at


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