FACT CHECK: Video Claims To Show Oil Rig Battered By Hurricane Laura

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows an oil rig evacuated during Hurricane Laura.

Verdict: False

The video, which dates back to 2015, shows an installation being battered by a storm in the North Sea. It appears to have been mirrored and stretched.

Fact Check:

Nearly 300 oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico were evacuated by Aug. 26 in preparation for Hurricane Laura, The Associated Press reported. Hurricane Laura, which has since weakened to a tropical depression, inflicted damaging winds and flooding on the Louisiana-Texas border as it made landfall this week, killing at least 14 people, according to BBC News.

Multiple Facebook users shared a video of large waves and high winds battering an oil platform, claiming it shows one of the facilities evacuated ahead of Hurricane Laura. That characterization is, however, inaccurate. (RELATED: Image Claims To Show Shark Swimming Down Flooded Highway In Louisiana During Hurricane Laura)

Through a reverse image search of key frames, Check Your Fact discovered that the footage appears to be an altered version of a 2015 video posted on YouTube by BBC News. The video shows the Borgholm Dolphin installation, a platform meant to accommodate personnel, being battered by a storm in the North Sea about 145 miles from Scotland, according to BBC News and the Daily Mail.

The video being shared on Facebook appears to have been mirrored and stretched. It was also shared with a misleading caption on Twitter, where it received over 520,000 views, despite being debunked there by BuzzFeed News reporter Jane Lytvynenko.

Multiple marine shipping websites list the Borgholm Dolphin installation’s status as decommissioned, scrapped or lost at sea. Dolphin Drilling, which is listed as the owner of the platform on those sites, did not respond to a request for comment.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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