The Minerals Management Service has two confirmed reports of drilling rigs adrift in the central Gulf of Mexico. The MMS, industry, and the U.S. Coast Guard are working together to monitor the paths of the two rigs. MMS has determined through a pre-hurricane season risk analysis that there is minimal infrastructure in the areas surrounding these two rigs.
“MMS is closely monitoring these rigs, and they have been relatively stationary for several hours,” said Lars Herbst, regional director, MMS Gulf of Mexico Region. “We expect tugs to be on location to secure the rigs as soon as sea conditions allow.”
The MMS conducts risk assessments of every mobile drilling rig location plan prior to hurricane season before granting approval of each plan. The assessments consider the proposed location’s proximity to critical oil and gas infrastructure, condition of seafloor, and station–keeping (mooring) capabilities of each specific rig.
Once the weather in the Gulf of Mexico clears, over flights by MMS staff, the U.S. Coast Guard and the oil and gas industry will begin in both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. These over flights will allow a preliminary survey of damage to both oil and gas production platforms and drilling rigs. Damage estimates cannot be confirmed until the structures are boarded and actual inspections take place.
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