Well Leak Plugged in Gulf

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 @ 03:07 PM gHale

While it was not gushing oil and gas like Deepwater Horizon, workers sealed a gas well that started leaking several days ago in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast, but more work must occur to permanently secure the well, federal officials said.

Energy Resource Technology LLC (ERT) began sealing the well Thursday evening, said Eileen Angelico, a spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

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The process, approved by BSEE, involved pumping drilling fluid into the well located about 75 miles southwest of Port Fourchon.

“More work is required to permanently secure the well,” Angelico said. “In the interim, BSEE is requiring that ERT monitor the well for any changes.”

Company officials said the well had been out of production for years and workers were in the process of permanently sealing it when it began leaking small amounts of gas and an oil-water mixture called condensate last Monday.

The Coast Guard said a small sheen was visible on the Gulf surface, but company officials expect it to evaporate.

The well did not suffer a blowout, and there was no explosion.

Preparations and work to permanently seal the well continued through the weekend, Angelico said.

The platform, owned by Houston-based Talos Energy, sits over three wells in water 144 feet deep. Production from the other two wells shut down after the leak occurred. A small amount of workers on the platform safely evacuated.

The Talos site is to the west of BP PLC’s Macondo well, which blew out in April 2010. An estimated 200 million gallons of crude oil escaped the well before workers were able to cap it. The Macondo well was about a mile under the Gulf surface.

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