Basin reports offshore gas leak, fire

Basin Exploration Inc., Denver, on Friday reported that a gas leak caused a fire at its operations on West Delta Block 58 in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana.

The leak occurred late Wednesday at 10:45 pm CDT while a contractor was driving and welding a caisson over Basin's D-6 well during completion operations. The leak came from the vicinity of the adjacent D-5 well. Heat from the welding apparently ignited the gas.

Operations to evacuate the jack up drilling unit Ocean Crusader and extinguish the fire began immediately, says Basin. The fire was extinguished about 2 hr after it began. No injuries were reported, and no spill of hydrocarbon liquids occurred.

The cause of the gas release is under investigation. Basin and drilling contractor Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc., Houston, are assessing the extent of the damage.

Evaluation of damage and needed repairs will take several days to complete, says Basin. It is not yet known whether any required corrective measures will delay start of production from this property, currently scheduled for the end of this month.

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