Posted: Sep 2, 2010 11:45 AM by Letitia Walker
Updated: Sep 2, 2010 12:16 PM
NEW ORLEANS, La. (AP) - An offshore petroleum platform exploded and was burning Thursday in the Gulf of Mexico about 80 miles south of Vermilion Bay.
The Coast Guard says no one was killed in the explosion, which
was reported by a commercial helicopter flying over the site around
9 a.m. CDT. All 13 people aboard the rig have been accounted for,
with one injury. The extent of the injury was not known.
Coast Guard Cmdr. Cheri Ben-Iesau says seven Coast Guard
helicopters, two airplanes and three cutters were dispatched to the
scene from New Orleans, Houston and Mobile, Ala.
She said authorities do not know whether oil is leaking from the
Ben-Iesau said all 1atpeople were rescued from the water by an
offshore service vessel, the Crystal Clear, and taken to a nearby
platform. All were being flown to the Terrebonne General Medical
Center in Houma to be checked over.
The Department of Homeland Security said the platform, known as
Vermilion Oil Platform 380, was owned by Mariner Energy of Houston.
DHS said it was not producing oil and gas.
A call to the company seeking comment was not immediately
Ben-Iesau says some of those from the rig were spotted in
emergency flotation devices.
Mariner Energy focuses on oil and gas exploration and production
company focused on the Gulf of Mexico. In April, Apache Corp.,
another independent petroleum company, announced plans to buy
Mariner in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $3.9 billion, including
the assumption of about $1.2 billion of Mariner's debt. That deal
Apache spokesman Bob Dye said the platform is id
A company report said the well was drilled in the third quarter of
2008 in 340 feet of water.
Responding to an oil spill in shallow water is much easier than
in deepwater, where crews depend on remote-operated vehicles access
equipment on the sea floor.
The platform is about 200 miles west of BP's blown out Macondo
well. On Friday, BP was expected to begin the process of removing
the cap and failed blow-out preventer, another step toward
completion of a relief well that would complete the choke of the
well. The BP-leased rig Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20,
killing 11 people and setting off a massive oil spill.