Fire ignites on evacuated jack up rig in Gulf of Mexico

This story was updated July 24.

A natural gas leak from an offshore well ignited a fire late on July 23 that spread to the Hercules 265 jack up rig while the rig was working for Walter Oil & Gas Corp. about 55 miles off Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement reported.

The fire followed a well-control incident hours earlier. No one was on board the jack up when the fire ignited. The source of the ignition was not immediately known. The rig is in 154 ft of water.

Drilling contractor Hercules Offshore said the extent of damage is currently unknown.

BSEE said a firefighting vessel with both water and foam firefighting abilities was deployed. The US Coast Guard is providing safety management oversight and has deployed a cutter and helicopter.

Walter Oil & Gas reported a loss of control of Well A-3 on a platform at South Timbalier Block 220 at 8:45 a.m. on July 23. The well-control incident happened during completion work on a sidetrack well to prepare the Well A-3 for production. BSEE said 44 people were evacuated from the Hercules 265.

From an overflight on July 23, BSEE inspectors reported a cloud of gas above the rig and a light sheen on the water ½ mile by 50 ft in area that was quickly dissipating.

On July 24, BSEE and USCG conducted additional overflights and reported no observed sheen on the water surface. As the rig fire continues, the beams supporting the derrick and rig floor have folded and have collapsed over the rig structure.

Two firefighting vessels were in the area and moved to a safe distance from the fire. A third vessel equipped with fire-fighting capability and improved monitoring system is en route, BSEE said.

Related Articles

Market watch: Energy futures prices rose slightly Friday

05/06/2002 Crude oil futures prices rose slightly Friday amid lingering uncertainty about a possible disruption of Middle East supplies, although tensions in ...

Gulf of Mexico oil service sector showing signs of an upturn

05/06/2002 The Gulf of Mexico oil service sector is experiencing the signs of an upturn, analysts with Simmons & Co. International, UBS Warburg LLC, and RBC D...

OTC: Industry, national agencies need to work together to make FPSOs work in the gulf

05/06/2002 Over the coming years, the oil and gas industry will have to keep an open line of communication with national agencies such as the US Coast Guard a...

Market watch: Energy futures prices fall as Iraq lifts embargo

05/07/2002 Crude oil futures prices fell Monday after Iraq announced plans to lift a self-imposed export embargo with exports expected to resume by Wednesday.

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected