Oil platform bursts into flames off La. coast; crew rescued
2010-09-03 0:00

By Joe Carroll and Aaron Clark | Bloomberg.com



A fire on a Mariner Energy Inc. oil and natural-gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico has been extinguished in an event that may prolong the U.S. drilling moratorium imposed after BP Plc’s record crude spill.

The fire was put out at approximately 3:30 p.m. local time, and U.S. Coast Guard vessels and aircraft are scanning the sea around the platform to detect any signs of oil, Coast Guard Captain Peter Troedsson said today at a press conference in New Orleans.

All 13 workers were rescued by an offshore supply vessel and were transported to shore from a platform 90 miles (145 kilometers) off the Louisiana coast, Troedsson said. No injuries were reported, he said.

Mariner, which agreed in April to be acquired by Apache Corp., tumbled as much as 16 percent in New York trading in the hours after the accident.

The incident on the platform was a fire on or near upper- deck living quarters, which were unoccupied, and not an explosion, Patrick Cassidy, a spokesman for Mariner Energy, said in an e-mail. The event was reported as an explosion this morning, said Petty Officer Casey Ranel of the U.S. Coast Guard.



AP/Gerald Herbert

Dashed Hopes?

The incident may dash oil-industry efforts to resume deep- water exploration less than five months after a rig explosion killed 11 workers and triggered the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, said Gianna Bern, president of Brookshire Advisory & Research Inc. The Mariner fire involves a platform, not a rig, and is in water 15 times shallower than the site of the BP well that caused the record spill.

“This incident will increase pressure on the federal government to prolong the moratorium,” said Bern, a former BP crude trader whose Flossmoor, Illinois, firm provides risk- management advice to oil producers. “I don’t think it’s going to matter much to regulators that this wasn’t a deep-water installation and that nobody got hurt. Scrutiny of the whole industry will intensify.”

A mile-long (1.6-kilometer), 100-foot-wide (30-meter) sheen of oil was sighted near the burning Vermilion 380 platform, which stands in less than 400 feet of water, the Coast Guard said earlier today, citing a report from Houston-based Mariner.

Dispatching fire-fighting boats and other response vessels to the Mariner incident won’t interfere with efforts to permanently plug BP’s Macondo well, about 200 miles to the east, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said in a televised meeting with reporters.

Oil Rises

The Vermillion 380 field is less than one-ninth the size of London-based BP’s Macondo discovery.

Oil and gas futures rose on concern the incident will prompt a federal crackdown on offshore production. The Gulf supplies 30 percent of domestic oil output and 13 percent of U.S. gas production.

Production platforms tend to be less prone to blowouts or spills than drilling rigs because they’re tapping into geological formations that have already been tamed with steel piping, concrete and pressure-control devices, said Arthur Berman, a consultant and geologist who lives near Houston.

Rigs drill into unexplored layers of rock, salt and sand laced with pockets of high-pressure, explosive gas. The only thing drillers have to hold unexpected pressure surges at bay are heavy drilling fluid and a stack of valves on the seafloor, Berman said.

Read the full article at: bloomberg.com


Mariner Energy Oil - Gulf Rig Explosion Sep. 2, 2010

Video from: YouTube.com





Related Articles
Oil platform explodes off Louisiana coast
What makes the 2 Gulf oil explosions different?
The Movie "Knowing" Knew About Oil Rig Explosion
Interview with a Survivor from the Oil Rig Explosion (Deepwater Horizon)


Latest News from our Front Page

Pro-Israel bias: BBC admits editorial breach in interview with Israeli defense chief
2015-05-23 7:58
The BBC has reached a “provisional finding” to uphold complaints made by Palestinian activists that the broadcaster breached its editorial guidelines in a “soft” interview with the Israeli defense minister. Complaints focused on BBC journalist Sarah Montague’s alleged failure to challenge controversial claims made by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. Journalist Amena Saleem, who works with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), wrote ...
41% of Americans Support Criminalizing "Hate Speech"
2015-05-23 7:31
The following are from a recent poll about what some are calling on for "hate speech" 1. Support for Hate Crimes Legislation Do you support or oppose the federal law that requires increased penalties for hate crimes committed on the basis of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or gender of any person? 2. Support for Expanding Hate Crimes Do ...
FBI Admits No Major Cases Cracked with Patriot Act Snooping Powers
2015-05-23 7:36
FBI agents can’t point to any major terrorism cases they’ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating. Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk ...
Sweetener Stevia Was Once Hailed As An Anti-Fertility Agent for Population Reduction
2015-05-23 7:13
Maybe it's not so sweet now... If you've thought stevia, the natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweetners with aspartame, et al., is too good to be true, there may be a catch. Check out this textbook written in 1970 by Paul and Anne Ehrlich, the precursor to the textbook Ecoscience they wrote with Obama Science Czar John P. Holdren ...
TPP Aproved: Senate Republicans Give Obama New Powers - Details Remain 'Classified'
2015-05-23 6:43
President Obama won a big victory for his trade agenda Friday with the Senate’s approval of fast-track legislation that could make it easier for him to complete a wide-ranging trade deal that would include 11 Pacific Rim nations. A coalition of 48 Senate Republicans and 14 Democrats voted for Trade Promotion Authority late Friday, sending the legislation to a difficult fight ...
More News »