Covering Louisiana

Sep 9, 2011 10:09 AM by Kate Durio

Search Underway for Missing Rig Workers Amid Increasing Wind and Waves from Tropical Storm Nate

Mexican state-run oil company Pemex said search and rescue efforts were underway for 10 offshore workers who had abandoned a damaged liftboat in the Bay of Campeche after Tropical Storm Nate cut a devastating path in the Gulf of Mexico.

Authorities ordered an evacuation of the Trinity II liftboat as meteorological conditions deteriorated Thursday afternoon.

According to Pemex, fissures were detected in the jacking legs of the liftboat and reports indicate the liftboat may have partially sunk.

Pemex said four of the ten offshore workers were the liftboat's crew members.

According to Pemex, the offshore workers had not been located as of 2131 GMT, but Mexican media reported two rescue vessels were due to arrive shortly.

The Trinity II is understood to be under contract with Geokinetics, the seismic company shooting a 3D survey in the Tsimin Tojual project.

Trinity Liftboat Services in December won a contract with Geokinetics for vessel support on a project in the Bay of Campeche.

Both the Trinity I and Trinity II have been contracted to support the project through its completion in 2012. Geokinetics could not be reached for comment.

Trinity Liftboat, when reached by Upstream, said it had no comment.

Pemex said it was continuing to provide aid in the search for the missing workers, but efforts have been hampered by gale-force winds and up to 20 meter-high waves.

Tropical Storm Nate, the 14th named storm in the hurricane season, was gaining strength and could become a hurricane on Friday or Saturday, the US National Hurricane Center said.

Source: http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/article277355.ece

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