NEW ORLEANS – Criminal charges filed recently against a Houston company over a 2012 offshore oil platform fire that killed three workers appear headed for resolution.
Neither federal prosecutors nor defense lawyers for Black Elk Energy Operations would comment Friday on whether plea talks are underway. But a federal judge Thursday set three proceedings for the morning of Oct. 20: an initial appearance, an arraignment and then a re-arraignment listed on the docket as a change-of-plea hearing.
Black Elk was charged with six criminal counts alleging safety violations in connection with the November 2012 fire off Louisiana's coast. The charges were not brought by a grand jury. They were made in a bill of information filed by prosecutors — typically a sign that a defendant is cooperating.