BOEMRE: Apache permanently plugging well in gulf

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Jan. 31 --
Apache Corp. is working to permanently plug a well near East Cameron Block 278 Platform B in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana, the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement said Jan. 29.

Workers evacuated the platform Jan. 16 after noticing a hydrocarbon sheen (OGJ, Jan. 24, 2011, Newsletter). Apache operates the platform and owns 50% interest. Stone Energy Corp., Lafayette, La., owns the remaining interest.

The platform, in 173 ft of water, had not been in production for nearly a decade. It was used to process natural gas and condensate from other facilities. Apache was permanently plugging nonproducing gas wells when the sheen was noticed.

Under BOEMRE’s supervision and approval, Apache reboarded the platform Jan. 19 and “began work to kill the leaking well,” BOEMRE said. A remotely operated vehicle is being used to monitor the well to ensure safe operations.

“Well-control procedures from the platform were successful in stopping the flow of natural gas from the well,” BOEMRE said.

A jack up drilling rig belonging to Hercules Offshore Inc. arrived at the area Jan. 23 in case it were to be needed to drilled a relief well if the well-plugging operations cannot be completed successfully, BOEMRE said.

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