Platform Evacuated After Natural Gas Leak

Thursday, January 20, 2011 @ 05:01 PM gHale

A natural gas leak forced the evacuation of an offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico, and an undersea robot is now investigating the source.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement said the East Cameron Block 278 Platform B gas processing platform has not been in production for nearly a decade. However, it was seeing use as a center to process natural gas and condensate from other offshore sites. The platform is about 93 miles south of Lake Charles in about 173 feet of water.

Underwater robot captures the images of a natural gas leak that forced the evacuation of an offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

Underwater robot captures the images of a natural gas leak that forced the evacuation of an offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico.


Investigators discovered the leak Sunday when workers on an Apache Corp. crew spotted bubbling near the platform. Officials cut off the pipelines from other platforms.

Apache said the government approved a permit to resume plugging and abandonment operations at the platform.

Air monitoring located no trace of gas emissions on the facility, Houston-based Apache said.

On Jan. 18, the U.S. said Apache was using a remotely operated vehicle for evaluation. The bureau said planning was under way for a relief well to stop a gas leak if the company couldn’t safely return workers to the structure. Apache called talk of a relief well “premature.”

The company has a 50 percent working interest in the platform. Stone Energy Corp. has the remaining stake.



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