On Tuesday July 23, at 9:50 AM a shallow-water natural gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico suffered a blowout. A cloud of gas hovered over the area at Hurcules Platform No. 265, located about 100 nm south of New Orleans, about 40 miles south and 12 miles west of Grand Isle. The Coast Guard dispatched a cutter and two aircraft and reported that the platform was safely evacuated. All 44 people onboard the platform managed to escape in two life boats.
As reported by On Wings of Care, a nonprofit dedicated to wilderness protection who happened to be on an airborne excursion in the area, by 2 PM, about a mile of very light surface sheen to the east of the platform, which would support public statements that “only” natural gas is leaking at this time. See the images they shot above left.
TV station WDSU reports that while Hercules Offshore owns the platform, Jefferson Parish Emergency Management (JPEM) officials said Walter Oil and Gas was the company conducting drilling at the time of the incident. Initial reports indicate natural gas began working its way to the surface as crews were in the process of pumping mud.
JPEM participated in an early afternoon call that included members of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management as well as the Coast Guard. Responding agencies have established a unified command in Houma to manage the situation.
The Federal Aviation Administration has posted flight restrictions for the immediate area.
© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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