Weather Watch: Rescue Efforts Ongoing for Missing Offshore Workers

Rescue efforts are underway for 10 workers who abandoned a liftboat in the Bay of Campeche this morning due to conditions brought on by Tropical Storm Nate.

“We deeply concerned about the incident in the Gulf of Mexico regarding our employees and others who abandoned the disabled liftboat due to conditions brought about by Tropical Storm Nate,” said Brenda Taquino, director of human resources for Geokinetics, one of the largest independent international land and shallow water geophysical service companies offering specialized geophysical solutions to the oil and gas industry.

The company learned yesterday morning that a liftboat it had under contract, ‘Trinity II’, was disabled in the Bay of Campeche due to storm conditions brought on by Tropical Storm Nate. Three GeoKinetics employees were on board at the time, along with the four crew members who operate the liftboat and three contract workers.

The liftboat captain communicated that they were abandoning the vessel around noon yesterday. A ship several miles away saw the crew entering the lift raft at the time, but storm conditions hampered rescue efforts.

“Our first priority and focus is on the safety and rescue of our employees and everyone in the life raft, and we’re staying in close contact with family members of the employees-providing them full support,” Taquino said.

PEMEX has a few vessels looking for the crew, and a helicopter was sent out this morning as part of the rescue efforts.

Houston-based Apache Corp. has evacuated 19 non-essential workers from platforms in the far western Gulf of Mexico due to Tropical Storm Nate. The company’s production has not been impacted by the storm, Apache spokesperson Bill Mintz told Rigzone.

BP on Thursday evacuated non-essential workers from the Atlantis, Mad Dog and Holstein platforms in the southern Green Canyon area of the U.S. Gulf.

According to media reports, Mexico’s state energy company PEMEX is searching for 10 missing workers who had evacuated from a platform in the Gulf of Mexico due to Tropical Storm Nate. The workers are reportedly employees of Houston-based seismic company GeoKinetics Inc.

The Mexican government has issued a hurricane watch from Tampico to Veracruz, Mexico, the U.S. National Hurricane Center reported. Tropical Storm Nate is moving northwestward over the southern Gulf at maximum winds of 65 mph with higher gusts. The storm is expected to strengthen during the next 48 hours, and could possibly become a hurricane by Saturday and make landfall by Sunday or Monday.