This is very bad news ” Hercules Jackup Rig 265 Blows Out In Gulf Of Mexico and 44 People Evaculated”. The details that I gather from several sources on the internet. This is the reason why well control is very important to us.
July 23rd, 2013
Forty-four workers were evacuated from a natural gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday after a blowout occurred, according to officials.
Crew members aboard the Hercules 265 were preparing the well for production when they hit an unexpected pocket of gas.
No injuries were reported.
Officials had said earlier that 44 workers were evacuated.
While gas is flowing from the well, “no oil is being released,” according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
The platform, about 60 miles southwest of Grand Isle, Louisiana, is leased by Houston-based Walter Oil & Gas Corporation. The company did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment Tuesday.
A light sheen about a half-mile wide was spotted by environmental inspectors, but was “dissipating almost immediately,” the safety bureau said.
Source: CNN http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/23/us/gulf-rig-evacuation/index.html?hpt=us_c2
UPDATE: July 24th, 2013
Hercules 265 is now on fire.
The fire started about 10:50 p.m. local time yesterday.
Experts from Wild Well Control Inc. were to assess the well site overnight and develop a plan to shut down the flow of gas, said Jim Noe, executive vice president of Hercules Offshore Inc., owner of the drilling rig where the blowout occurred.
Noe stressed that gas, not oil, was flowing from the well. He said it is an important distinction because gas wells in relatively shallow areas — this one was in 154 feet (47 meters) of water — sometimes tend to clog with sand, effectively snuffing themselves out. “That is a distinct possibility at this point,” he said. “But until we have our Wild Well Control personnel on the rig, we won’t know much more.”
Tuesday’s blowout occurred near an unmanned offshore gas platform that was not currently producing natural gas, said Eileen Angelico, spokeswoman for the bureau. The workers were aboard a portable drilling rig known as a jackup rig, owned by Hercules, which was a contractor for exploration and production company Walter Oil & Gas Corp.
Walter Oil & Gas reported to the BSEE that the rig was completing a “sidetrack well” — a means of re-entering the original well bore, Angelico said.
The purpose of the sidetrack well in this instance was not immediately clear. A spokesman for the corporation didn’t have the information Tuesday night. Industry websites say sidetrack wells are sometimes drilled to remedy a problem with the existing well bore.
“It’s a way to overcome an engineering problem with the original well,” Ken Medlock, an energy expert at Rice University’s Baker Institute said. “They’re not drilled all the time, but it’s not new.”
Walter Oil & Gas Corp., the owner of the well, initially said it appeared that some of the shear rams on the rig’s blowout preventer failed to close and seal off the well. The company later said it is still investigating the incident and wouldn’t know the cause of the blowout, or why the well continues to flow, for some time.
“The crew was concerned for their safety, so once gas was detected and they felt like they did all they could do to shut in the well, they evacuated,” Mr. Noe said.