Gulf Oil Platform Ablaze; One Injured

Friday, September 3, 2010 @ 03:09 PM gHale


An explosion on an oil platform 90 miles south of Vermilion Bay sent 13 people on board into the water Thursday morning around 9:30 a.m.
Coast Guard spokesman Bill Colclough said they have all 13 people, but one of them was suffering from injuries. The injured person is going to Terrebonne General Medical Center.
Colclough said the platform owned by Mariner Energy was still on fire as of 11 a.m. and that reports are it was not an active well.
Four Coast Guard choppers from New Orleans and four from Houston were enroute to the scene. A vessel was also in transit.
Coast Guard Cmdr. Cheri Ben-Iesau said some of those from the platform were in emergency flotation devices.
Mariner Energy focuses on oil and gas exploration and is a production company focused on the Gulf of Mexico. In April, Apache Corp., another independent petroleum company, dealt for Mariner in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $3.9 billion, including the assumption of about $1.2 billion of Mariner’s debt. That deal is pending.
The platform is in 340 feet of water, which is considered shallow. The platform was identified as Vermilion 308 A, according to Mariner.
Responding to an oil spill in shallow water is much easier than in deepwater, where crews depend on remote-operated vehicles access equipment on the sea floor.
The platform is about 200 miles west of BP’s blown out Macondo well. On Friday, BP was going to begin the process of removing the cap and failed blow-out preventer, another step toward completion of a relief well that would complete the choke of the well. The BP-leased rig Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20, killing 11 people and setting off a massive oil spill.



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