The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) announced that the flow of natural gas under pressure at the Hercules 265, South Timbalier 220 natural gas well, has stopped. The gas flow was feeding the rig fire, which has decreased to a small flame.
The rig and natural gas well are located 55 miles offshore Louisiana in a water depth of 154 feet.
An application for a permit to drill a relief well has been submitted to BSEE, which includes proposals for the cement and casing programs. BSEE engineers are currently evaluating the permit, and BSEE continues to review and approve all operational plans and procedures related to the response.
The structural integrity of the rig remains intact. A slight sheen was detected on the water’s surface and is dissipating quickly.
Walter Oil and Gas Corporation experienced a loss of control of Well A-3 at approximately 8:45 a.m. July 23 on the unmanned platform at South Timbalier Block 220 while doing completion work on the sidetrack well to prepare the well for production. The operator reported the safe evacuation of 44 personnel from the Hercules 265 jack-up rig. Coast Guard confirmed that the leaking natural gas ignited at 10:45 p.m. CDT July 23.
Offshore Energy Today, July 26, 2013