Natural Gas Well Bridged; Hercules Rig Fire Continues
by Gene Lockard
|Thursday, July 25, 2013
The flow of natural gas has been contained at a natural gas well located in 154 feet of water 55 miles offshore of Louisiana at South Timbalier, Block 220, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said in a statement to the press July 25.
The A-3 natural gas well, owned by Walter Oil & Gas Corp. and located 55 miles offshore Louisiana, stopped flowing natural gas after the well bridged after the owner and other parties injected sand and sediment into the well path, BSEE said. A small flame continued to burn from residual gas at the top of the well.
The owner was still making preparations to drill a relief well, if necessary, according to Reuters.
BSEE and the U.S. Coast Guard are continuing flyovers to assess the situation at the well.
The Hercules 265 (250’ MC) jackup owned by Hercules Offshore caught fire and suffered a partial collapse after the flames spread from the well to the rig Wednesday. Forty-four people were safely evacuated Tuesday, following a blowout, and there were no injuries reported, a Hercules spokesperson told Rigzone.
The rig suffered a partial collapse Wednesday when support beams that supported the derrick and the rig floor folded and fell over the rig structure.
The collapse of the beams helped to isolate the fire and lessened the likelihood of damage to the rest of the platform.
The loss of well control initially caused a light sheen on the water after the blowout occurred on Tuesday, but the sheen soon dissipated.
Environmental impacts from the loss of control at a natural gas well are far less significant than the pollution threats from an oil well that suffers a loss of control, experts said.
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