Oil Rig Explosion

September 2, 2010 by USA Post 

Oil Rig Explosion, The explosion and rescue attempt was reminiscent of the April 20 explosion at the Horizon deepwater platform, which was caused by a blowout of a newly drilled oil tank. The resulting oil spill lasted almost three months and became the nation’s offshore environmental disaster in history. Eleven workers died in the explosion.

Thursday’s fire was partially contained by a vessel sent to the scene by the owner of the platform, Mariner Energy of Houston. Two other fire-fighting vessels were on their way, Blue said.

It was unclear today whether the explosion was the result of a leak or whether it had caused no leakage of crude oil, Coast Guard Commander Cheri Ben-Iesau said. The platform was not producing oil or gas, because it was a maintenance agreement with the Federal Energy Management of the Ocean.

Mariner Energy website describes as “a leading independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Another nearby platform reported the explosion at 9:19 am. A helicopter flying near the disaster also confirmed, said Ben-Iesau. It is located 92 miles south of Vermilion Bay, Louisiana, located west of New Orleans and the Mississippi River Delta. It is also about 200 kilometers west of the oil slick deepwater Horizon.

The rescue was aided by good weather, and Coast Guard helicopters had been unable to locate workers with relatively quickly, Ben-Iesau said. Seven helicopters, two airplanes and four boats were sent to the site.

White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said the platform was not a rig deepwater as well that blew up in April. He said the water was about 340 feet deep. The rig Deepwater Horizon had drilled in water nearly 5,000 feet deep.

The situation seems very different from that affected BP, said Philip Weiss, ananlyst at Argus Research. The device was working in shallow water, and still no sign of any spill. However, he said critics on the high seas could still use it to argue against offshore drilling. A few minutes after the first reports of the explosion that was happening.

“This is another piece of evidence that demonstates human and environmental risks of our appetite for oil in the sea,” said Susan Faraday, director of the Institute of Marine Affairs at Roger Williams University School of Law. She said there have been more than 800 explosions and fires at sea in the Gulf since 2001 and 55 deaths.

Others say the incident Mariner’s further underscores the need for six-month moratorium of the government in deepwater exploration, which is to be lifted in December, but has the exploration of closed deep in the Gulf, and much of the operations in shallow water, too, since April.

“It’s another reminder that drilling accidents happen too often,” said campaign director for Oceana senior Jacqueline Savitz.

Mariner safety record in the Gulf, based on federal fines has been largely unnoteworthy. Last year was fined 55,000 for two incidents in the Gulf of Mexico, the records of the former Minerals Management Service indicate. In one, he was fined 20,000 and a helicopter platform was taken out of service due to fire. In another sense, was fined 35,000 and after a date that the inspectors for their lack of adequate contingency plans for an operation.

Gulf of Mexico oilrig exploded Thursday morning, sending its crew of 13 struggling in the water 92 miles off the coast of Louisiana, said the Coast Guard.
A vessel from the oil industry that was taken near the crewmembers out of the water and taken to a nearby platform, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Thomas Blue. Coast Guard helicopters were in the process of flying to a hospital. One worker suffered a minor injury, Blue said.

The crew had survival gear in bright colors known as “Gumby suits” that helped them afloat and made them more visible.

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