100% Free Consultation (888) 493-1629

K.S. Endeavor Explosion

Oil Rig Fire on January 16, 2012 Off The Coast of Nigeria

K.S. Endeavor Explosion Off Nigerian Coast

Oil Rig Catches Fire During Exploration in Lagos Area

K.S. Endeavor, run on behalf of Chevron Nigeria Ltd. by drilling contractor FODE Drilling Co., caught fire early Monday morning on January 16, 2012. The incident occurred while the rig was operating in the Funiwa field off the coast of Nigeria. The jack-up rig was used to seek out potential deepwater oil and gas fields in the Lagos area. It was not connected to any oil production at the time of the fire, according to a Chevron spokesperson. Chevron was forced to shut down operations at its North Apoi platform due to its proximity to the fire.

Search and rescue operations commenced as soon as the fire was reported, and 152 workers were found and evacuated. Two workers were killed in the explosion, one from France and the other from India. The cause of the fire was likely a buildup of gas pressure from drilling that may have resulted in an explosion. The other theory is that a blowout preventer (BOP) failed to stop gas from leaking into a dangerous area.

Testimonies from Endeavor Workers

The K.S. Endeavor explosion killed two workers. Others were injured in the resulting panic.

Although preliminary investigations into the blast revealed that Chevron’s K.S. Endeavor probably exploded due to a blowout preventer failure, Chevron has yet to be held legally accountable for the accident. There are multiple testimonies that workers on the K.S. Endeavor told Chevron that the oil rig was smoking and in danger of blowing. However, in the statements, Chevron says the workers need to continue working as if nothing was wrong. In fear of losing their jobs, the workers stopped complaining and prepared for the worst.

“About three days before the accident, the drilling company workers told us they wanted to stop drilling because of the gas pressure,” said a French witness. “They spoke with Chevron who told them to carry on.” One of the worker's testimonies says that one of the deceased was sure that the rig was going to explode. “The blowout occurred on Monday at 5.30 a.m., and if he had not advised as he did that the lifeboats be kept serviced and in functional condition then none of us would have made it out alive,” said an eyewitness of the man’s selfless actions.

While the crew could not stop praising the name of the manager who prepared for the worst, Chevron continues to run away from responsibility. One of the testimonies says Chevron flew workers to the oil rig in case the current workers went on strike due to the smoking oil drill. “Additional personnel were even brought onboard to get ahead of what was believed to be impending strike action,” remembers one of the crew members.

When asked about the additional workers, Chevron blamed the strikes occurring at the time. Chevron still holds that they were never warned of the impending explosion; they claim that all of the workers could have exercised stop work authority. “Our employees and contractor are fully empowered to exercise stop work authority (SWA) when they sense an unsafe work environment,” said Chevron in an email. Regardless of the multiple lawsuits brought against Chevron, no one is sure of the exact cause of the explosion. It is probable the general public will never know.

K.S. Endeavor Explosion FAQ

What Caused the K.S. Endeavor Explosion?

Drilling off the coast of Nigeria led to gas buildup at the bottom of the well. Blowout preventers typically prevent gas pressure from building to an explosive degree, but the blowout preventer in this case likely failed. As a result, gas shot up through the drilling pipe, causing an explosion and igniting a fire that lasted for 46 days. Chevron faced billions in litigation for years following the incident, including a $1.5 billion lawsuit from Nigerian residents.

Was the K.S. Endeavor Explosion a Freak Accident?

One of the most shocking details from the K.S. Endeavor story was that the crew anticipated an explosion three days before the explosion. The crew’s request for evacuation was denied by Chevron, and they were ordered to continue drilling. As the workers predicted, gas pressure continued to build until the rig exploded, killing 2 and traumatizing 152 other workers. Due to the forewarning, Chevron was ethically, legally, and financially responsible for the explosion.

Could the K.S. Endeavor Accident Have Been Prevented?

In the days leading up to the fateful explosion, the crew saw elevated pressure readings, indicating an increased risk of explosion. While Chevron denies ever getting an evacuation request—and even lays the blame at the feet of the rig’s staff—the crew testified in three separate accounts that they requested evacuation and feared an imminent explosion. If Chevron and its managers wanted to prevent an accident, they would have been able to cease drilling, diagnose the problem, and evacuate the crew. Instead, two crew members died.

There Is a Solution for American Oil Rig Workers

For American workers injured while working offshore, there are options to help you through your accident. At Arnold & Itkin LLP, we have experienced, aggressive attorneys who are advocates for maritime workers' rights. If you or someone you know was injured or lost their lives on an oil platform at sea, now is the time to talk to an oil rig explosion attorney about your options. We are not afraid to go up against the largest oil companies in the world to seek the best possible compensation.

Call (888) 493-1629 to request a free consultation. We can answer your questions and help you understand your options after a rig explosion, fire, or other catastrophe.

Case Results

Check Out Our Victories

  • $29 Million The Largest Known Settlement for a Wrongful Death Offshore Kurt Arnold, Jason Itkin, and Cory Itkin successfully secured a record settlement for a single family who tragically lost a loved one. It is the largest known settlement for a death that occurred offshore. While a settlement is not an admittance of ...
  • $14 Million Jones Act Settlement Reached Two Days Before Trial Arnold & Itkin represented a seaman after he suffered a head injury on the Hercules 15 inland barge. Hercules employees tack welded a three foot pipe to the derrick and then forgot to remove it before starting drilling operations. The pipe was jarred ...
  • $11.5 Million Settlement Won for Injured Victim of Offshore Accident Arnold & Itkin obtained a settlement of $11.5 million on behalf of an offshore accident victim suffering from both physical and psychological injuries. His settlement will ensure that our client gets all the time, financial support, and stability he ...
  • $8.9 Million Settlement Achieved for Severely Injured Seaman Arnold & Itkin helped secure a settlement on behalf of a seaman who injured his head when working aboard an offshore drilling vessel. Our firm helped to recover $8.9 million on his behalf.
  • $8 Million Massive Settlement Reached Before Trial Began Our firm represented an offshore worker (a steward) who seriously injured his back in an accident. The injury prevented him from making a living. While other lawyers told him his case was only worth a few hundred thousand dollars, our attorneys knew ...
  • $7.2 Million Millions Won for Brain-Injured Client in Louisiana Arnold & Itkin recovered more than $7 million in a settlement for a severely injured Louisiana client. Our client suffered brain injury and memory issues while working on an offshore platform. The defendant settled his case during jury selection, and ...
  • $7.1 Million Concussed Worker Received a Massive Settlement after Accident Arnold & Itkin represented an offshore worker with a concussion and a herniated disk from an accident on the job. These injuries inhibited our client’s ability to make a living, requiring him to pursue a claim. His employers eventually resolved the ...
  • $6.9 Million Settlement Obtained for Family of Deceased Offshore Worker Arnold & Itkin negotiated a multi-million dollar settlement for the family of a man who died offshore. Though the defendant attempted to get away with an extremely low offer, our team obtained a settlement that was many times larger.
  • $6.6 Million Settlement Obtained for Wife & Family of Deceased Offshore Worker Arnold & Itkin helped a woman and her family get justice after her husband was killed in an incident offshore. Despite undue pressure from the defendant, our firm made sure our clients were taken care of for the rest of their lives.
  • $6.5 Million Settlement Secured for Injured Crew Member on Barge Arnold & Itkin obtained a seven-figure settlement for an offshore worker who was injured off the coast of Florida while working in needlessly dangerous conditions. His settlement will help him move forward after irreparable damage was done to his ...
See All Results
“Jason Itkin sets them apart from anyone else. When you meet him, you’ll know why. He just takes all the breath out of the room when he walks in and he’s negotiating for you.”
Josh Offshore Accident Victim

Secure Your Future & Request a 100% Free Consultation

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
    Please enter your email address.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.