Black Elk

Opinion

Opinion: Black marks for Black Elk – Too little too late?

In Texas, there’s an expression for action that comes too late: it’s like closing the barn door after the horses have run away. I found myself thinking of the term as I read the recent indictment of Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations. In this case, the barn is the Gulf of Mexico, where Black Elk operated for years despite regulators’ repeated warnings about safety violations by the company. The horses are Black Elk executives who left the company a year ago and sold off Black Elk’s shallow water operations long before the indictment came down. None of the executives were named in it. The indictment stems from a Nov. 16, 2013 explosion at a Black Elk rig in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Three workers died and several others were severely burned, including Renato Dominguez, a maintenance worker assigned to the rig.