Drilling to Secure Well Blow Out

Wednesday, August 7, 2013 @ 01:08 PM gHale

The Hercules 265 natural gas rig in the Gulf of Mexico burning.

Workers have started drilling a relief well to permanently seal the gas well that blew out in the Gulf of Mexico last month off the coast of Louisiana, regulators said.

The drilling began Sunday and should take about 35 days to complete, said officials at the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Drilling mud and cement will pump into the well once the relief well intercepts it.

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The bureau said a sheen can no longer be seen near the site of the blowout in shallow waters about 55 miles south of the coast.

No one suffered injuries when the well owned by Houston-based Walter Oil & Gas Corp. blew out July 23. All 44 people aboard a drilling rig owned by Hercules Offshore evacuated before a fire broke out.

Authorities said sand and debris clogged the well and stopped the flow of gas.

The cause of the blowout remained under investigation.

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