Federal regulators ordered Black Elk Energy to further strengthen safety in its operations or potentially face a one-year ban on its offshore activities. A Gulf of Mexico platform operated by the company caught fire and exploded in November 2012, killing three and injuring two others. "Although the ... ratios have improved, further work needs to be done in reducing the number of [incidents of noncompliance] issued on reinspections, in order to achieve compliance closer to the Gulf of Mexico industry average," said Lars Herbst, regional director with the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

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