Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tropical Storm Nate: Oil workers remain missing off stormy Mexico coast - 10th Sept 2011

Mexico's state oil company said toay it was searching for 10 workers with a Texas-based company who evacuated from a research vessel in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of Tropical Storm Nate.

Petroleos Mexicanos said it had two ships searching in the area where the workers, employed by Houston-based Geokinetics Inc., called for help Thursday afternoon after leaving a vessel known as a liftboat, the Trinity II, on an enclosed life raft.

"We're deeply concerned about the incident in the Gulf of Mexico involving our employees and others who had to abandon a disabled liftboat due to conditions brought about by Tropical Storm Nate," Geokinetics spokeswoman Brenda Taquino said. "The safety and rescue of the employees, everyone on the life raft, is a top priority."

Taquino said the company learned Thursday morning that the 94-foot, 185-ton Trinity II, contracted from Louisiana-based Trinity Liftboat Services LLC, was disabled in the Bay of Campeche because of storm conditions. A liftboat can lower legs to the sea floor and then elevate itself above the water level. This one was being used as a recording vessel and housing for the crew and it was in waters about 25 feet (8 meters) deep.

On board were four crew members who operate the liftboat as well as three contractors and three employees of Geokinetics, which specializes in seismic studies for the oil and gas industry. Mexican authorities said the majority were foreigners, though they didn't say from which countries. Read More