Another Oil Rig Explosion in the Gulf

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

According to CNN:

An oil rig has exploded 80 miles off the coast of Louisiana, with 12 people overboard and one missing, the Coast Guard said Thursday morning.

Rescue attempts are underway for at least 12 people, Coast Guard spokesman John Edwards told CNN. 13 people were on board the rig total, Edwards said, noting 12 have been accounted for, but one person was missing.

The accident took place 80 miles off the coast of Louisiana on the Vermilion Oil rig 380, which is owned by Houston-based Mariner Energy.

The Coast Guard has multiple helicopters, an airplane and several Coast Guard cutters en route. It’s unknown if there are any injuries.



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  1. … an open thread on the story.

    Mariner Energy … wonder if their BOD will be more responsive than BP’s.

    • RiaD on September 2, 2010 at 19:05

    (yahoo news/AP) 40 mins ago

    GRAND ISLE, La. – An offshore petroleum platform exploded and was burning Thursday in the Gulf of Mexico about 80 miles off the Louisiana coast, west of the site where BP’s undersea well spilled after a rig explosion.

    The Coast Guard says no one was killed in the blast, which was reported by a commercial helicopter flying over the area Thursday morning. All 13 people aboard the rig have been accounted for, with one injury. The extent of the injury was not known.

    Coast Guard Cmdr. Cheri Ben-Iesau said some of those from the rig were spotted in emergency flotation devices.

    Seven Coast Guard helicopters, two airplanes and three cutters were dispatched to the scene from New Orleans, Houston and Mobile, Ala., Ben-Iesau said. She said authorities do not know whether oil was leaking from the site.

    The Department of Homeland Security said the platform was in about 2,500 feet of water and owned by Mariner Energy of Houston. DHS said it was not producing oil and gas.

    The Deepwater Horizon rig leased by BP was in about 5,000 feet of water when it exploded and sank in April, killing 11 workers and triggering a leak of about 206 million gallons of oil.

    • RiaD on September 2, 2010 at 20:07

     By ALAN SAYRE, Associated Press Writer – 1 min ago

    NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Coast Guard is saying that a mile-long oil sheen is spreading from the site off an offshore petroleum platform that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana.

    The site of the explosion is west of where BP’s massive spill occurred.

    The Coast Guard said no one was killed Thursday in the explosion. The blast was spotted by a commercial helicopter flying over the site.

    All 13 people aboard the rig were found floating in the water in survival gear.

  2. 11:31 Am, PDT here

    Rescue helicopters and Coast Guard cutters were immediately sent to the scene.

    The rig is owned by Mariner Energy, which is based in Houston, and 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 an oil sheen was reported, but it has not been confirmed by the Coast Guard. The report is still being investigated. He said the company suspects material in storage is burning. Jindal added Louisiana government officials have not been able to confirm the information.

                            ..emphasis mine..

  3. From the second explosion story –

    “The oil industry publication is reporting that the Mariner Energy structure is believed to be a manned, fixed steel production platform piled to the seabed, which also serves as a junction point for numerous pipelines.”

    EXPERTS. Junction point for numerous pipelines. I need an ‘on the fly’, totally speculative, risk assessment of the threat posed by these ‘pipelines’ and the junction. Do such things tend to be designed with an explosion topside in mind. Are the pipes isolated from the operations? Can you even guess or are there too many variables. I am concerned about these pipelines. Do they hold oil? How much. If they break can they be ‘shutoff’ easily? Will a shutoff impact production in the area? A large area?

    This bothers me. Help. I am glad all souls are accounted for. Does this happen all the time and we don’t notice? Are we too sensitive to this now?

                                  ..emphasis mine..

    Yeah.  It “bothers” me too.  I’ll follow to see what the “Experts” have to say.

  4., Panama City,Florida:

    The Vermilion platform did not violate the moratorium, said Melissa Schwartz, spokeswoman for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, which replaced the Minerals Management Service.

    “This was an oil and gas production platform in approximately 340 feet of water, 102 miles offshore Louisiana (80 nautical miles),” she said. “This platform was authorized to produce oil and gas at this water depth. The current suspension involves drilling rigs in water depths greater than 500 feet,” she said.

    White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday that the federal government has “assets ready” to respond to any environmental problems resulting from the fire on the Vermilion structure.

    Mariner Energy describes itself as one of the leading independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in the Gulf of Mexico. The company said it had interests in about 350 federal offshore leases last year, with more than 110 of the 350 in development. . . . . (emphasis mine)

    So, the discrepancy of the depth of the water is interesting.  “The Department of Homeland Security said the platform was in about 2,500 feet of water.”

    Wonder how we could find out the truth on that!

    Looking at the map, Mariner’s Rig (200 miles West of BP’s) is located exactly parallel to that of BP’s, but considerably inland from BP’s:

    click for larger view)

  5. We hear the Mariner Energy platform now on fire in Gulf is connected to 7 wells on seafloor. Awaiting confirmation.

    Also waiting on today’s MODIS satellite imagery of Gulf. ssslllowwwwly coming in. Stay tuned.


  6. …says…

    Sadly, today’s news comes as no surprise,” said KierĂ¡n Suckling, the Center for Biological Diversity’s executive director. “Offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is like playing Russian roulette. It’s not a matter of if something will go wrong, it’s a matter of when. . . . We cannot risk any more disasters.”

    Hear Hear!

  7. The latest AP update:

    By ALAN SAYRE, Associated Press Writer Alan Sayre, Associated Press Writer – 14 mins ago

    NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Coast Guard is backing off its earlier report that an oil sheen about a mile long was spreading following a platform explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Coast Guard Cmdr. Cheri Ben-Iesau said Thursday afternoon that crews was unable to confirm the oil sheen. The Coast Guard says platform owner Mariner Energy reported a sheen about a mile long and 100 feet wide. But the company has said in a statement that an initial flyover didn’t find an oil spill.

    Ben-lesau says the fire on the platform has been put out. All 13 crew members were rescued from the water.  (emphasis mine)

    And, this from

    In the end, the incident may not even have anything to do with oil in the ground, although details are still sketchy. The company, Houston-based Mariner, told Gov. Bobby Jindal that all seven of the wells feeding the platform were successfully shut in.

    That may be true, but the Coast Guard later reported a mile-long sheen on the water. It could be oil that was already extracted from the ground and stored on the rig, or it could be diesel fuel or another petroleum product from the rig, or it could have leaked from a well. . . . (emphasis mine)


  8. From the AP (added to information):

    On Friday, BP was expected to begin the process of removing the cap and failed blowout preventer, another step toward completion of a relief well that would put a final seal on the well. The Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20, killing 11 people and setting off a three-month leak that totaled 206 million gallons of oil. . . . .

    This gives me serious heebie jeebies.  That effort to remove the cap was supposed to have happened last Monday,  and, apparently, was post-poned until tomorrow.  But, this new explosion, near concurrently?    

  9. BP true colors.

    NYT piece: BP Says Limits on Drilling Imperil Oil Spill Payouts

    BP is warning Congress that if lawmakers pass legislation that bars the company from getting new offshore drilling permits, it may not have the money to pay for all the damages caused by its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    The company says a ban would also imperil the ambitious Gulf Coast restoration efforts that officials want the company to voluntarily support.

    BP executives insist that they have not backed away from their commitment to the White House to set aside $20 billion in an escrow fund over the next four years to pay damage claims and government penalties stemming from the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.

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