another oil rig on fire

this time in Vermilion Bay

Oil rig platform catches fire in Gulf of Mexico

Posted: Sep 02, 2010 10:19 AM CDT
Updated: Sep 02, 2010 2:35 PM CDT

Source: KLFY-TV in Lafayette, LA

VERMILION BAY, LA (WAFB/AP) – The Coast Guard is on the scene of another oil rig fire in the Gulf of Mexico. Officials are now reporting a mile-long oil sheen spreading from the site.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Bill Coklough said the sheen, about 100 feet wide, was spotted near the burning platform. He said Mariner Energy, Inc., the Houston company that owns the rig, had deployed three firefighting vessels to the site and one already was in place fighting the blaze.

According to the Coast Guard, 13 people were on the platform when it caught fire Thursday morning. All 13 are accounted for and one injury was reported.

The workers will be taken to Terrebonne General Medical Center in Houma by helicopter to be fully checked out. Their conditions are unknown.

The rig is located about 90 miles south of Vermilion Bay and was still burning as of 12:45 p.m.

The Coast Guard said it received a call at 9:19 a.m. from a neighboring rig that Vermilion 380 was on fire. A helicopter pilot then reported at about 10 a.m. he saw 13 people floating in the water in special suits near a burning oil rig platform.

Rescue helicopters and Coast Guard cutters were immediately sent to the scene. The rig is in water about 340 feet deep. Mariner said this is a platform rig, not a drilling rig.

The company reported there were seven active wells on the platform and one caught fire, but all are now shut in. Mariner also reported the platform produced an average of 1,400 barrels of oil per day.

Gov. Bobby Jindal said the company suspects material in storage is burning. Jindal added Louisiana government officials have not been able to confirm the information.

United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President Gary Beevers issued a statement concerning the fire.

“We are thankful that no one was killed in the explosion today of an offshore petroleum platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately, one person was injured and that is one person too many,” he said.

“This latest explosion shows that we need to make sure all these rigs in the Gulf are safe to operate before we put personnel back to work on them. I would hate to see a worker killed in our haste to reopen the Gulf to drilling. We need to give the government adequate time to do its inspections and ensure adequate health and safety provisions are in place,” he explained.

“Meanwhile, adequate assistance needs to be given to offshore workers and the businesses impacted by the moratorium that resulted from the BP explosion and oil spill,” he added.

This recent explosion is west of the one that happened on April 20 which caused a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


~ by maringouin on Thursday, September 2, 2010.

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