Death on drilling rig: man named

The name of a man who died at an onshore drilling rig in Taranaki yesterday has been released.

Nicholas John Teague, 39, of the Rotorua area, died 40 metres in the air atop an onshore drilling rig owned by Todd Energy in Tikorangi on Sunday morning.

Sergeant Grant Roper, of New Plymouth police, said the cause of death was unknown and had been referred to the coroner.

Autopsy results were likely to be released later today.

"What I can say is the death did occur 40 metres in the air, up the derrick, but however it did not involve a fall," Roper said yesterday.

"The cause of death is unknown but a number of possibilities are being looked at, including the possibility of a medical condition."

Emergency services were called to the Tikorangi site about 8.15am after the man collapsed.

Oil and gas workers onsite had tried to revive the 39-year-old, as did paramedics when they arrived, Roper said.

"Unfortunately they were not successful."

Police, WorkSafe New Zealand and the oil company's internal investigation team were investigating the death, he said.

The 450-tonne rig on which the death occurred was Todd Energy's $42 million Bentec Model Euro Rig, nicknamed 'Big Ben.'

The rig has been at the Mangahewa E site in Tikorangi Rd East, near Waitara, since earlier this year.

Teague was an employee of MB Century Ltd, which is the contracted operator of the well site.

Paul Moore, chief executive of Todd Energy, said the company was thinking of those who knew the man.

"Todd Energy expresses its condolences to the deceased's family, friends and colleagues," he said.

Taranaki Daily News