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

Pressure from the United Patriots Front Stops Mosque Plan
2016-04-28 20:10
Pressure from the United Patriots Front appears to have killed off a mosque development in Narre Warren North. The City of Casey council now looks likely to withhold planning approval for the development in a special meeting set for Tuesday night. A council report, to be considered by councillors on Tuesday, recommends that the approval be blocked. The mosque opponents’ cause has been helped by councillor ...
Police face questions over the influence of the Freemasons
2016-04-28 20:48
South Yorkshire Police today face questions over whether powerful 'secret society' the Freemasons held sway over the force at the time of Hillsborough. Families of victims say that officers who were Masons were promoted into powerful positions despite being ill-equipped, including match commander David Duckenfield. Duckenfield told the fresh inquests he had been a Freemason since 1975 and became head of his ...
England Bans its Own Flag to Avoid Offending Muslims
2016-04-27 2:23
St. George's Cross "racist" towards immigrants Government officials said their city was ‘too multicultural’ to celebrate St George’s Day, England’s version of the 4th of July. The council said that displaying the English flag may have been seen as “racist” towards immigrants.
Half of Western European men descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’
2016-04-27 2:09
Half of Western European men are descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’ who sired a dynasty of elite nobles which spread throughout Europe, a new study has shown. The monarch, who lived around 4,000 years ago, is likely to have been one of the earliest chieftains to take power in the continent. He was part of a new order which emerged in ...
"Local Residents" Are Filmed Stealing Dozens of Bottles of Water at London Marathon Stop
2016-04-25 23:10
Editor's Comment: "Local" residents? Why bother blurring their faces? We know who they are. ... London marathon runners were robbed of dozens of bottled waters when thieves raided a refreshment area armed with trolleys during today's race. Nearby residents - including parents with children - were captured on camera piling up crates of free water handed out by volunteers during the 26-mile event. Marathon ...
More News »