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Compressor Fire Shuts In Some GOM Production

Friday afternoon Enterprise Products Partners LP was awaiting word from federal authorities on whether it could flow gas on a bypass of a Gulf of Mexico (GOM) platform that was damaged last week when a piece of equipment exploded and caused a fire.

About 240-250 MMcf/d of gas was shut in due to an explosion and compressor fire that occurred late last Tuesday on a platform at High Island 264, according to platform owner Enterprise. The company was hoping to restore some flows by bypassing the platform, but it needed approvals from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) as well as the U.S. Minerals and Management Service (MMS).

"...[W]e would be in a situation to resume flows within a few hours after receiving federal approval from PHMSA and MMS for our bypass plans," Enterprise spokesman Rick Rainey told NGI Friday.

Last week the U.S. Coast Guard responded to a compressor fire aboard the platform about 90 miles southeast of Galveston, TX, shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday. When the Cutter Manta arrived about 3 a.m. last Wednesday the fire had been extinguished and there were no injuries, it said Wednesday. However, the High Island Offshore System (HIOS) was temporarily shut.

A flyover Wednesday morning reported a light sheen around the plant but no extensive pollution, the Coast Guard said. All 39 crew members aboard the plant were evacuated safely by the offshore supply vessel Gulf Endeavor, which was tied up at a platform nearby.

The affected facility is Platform B at High Island 264, Rainey told NGI. Enterprise said its 42-inch diameter HIOS was temporarily shut Wednesday. Capacity on the 291-mile HIOS is 1.8 Bcf/d. HIOS transports gas from fields in the western GOM to pipelines off the coast of Louisiana, including ANR and Tennessee Gas Pipeline.

The crew's living quarters on Platform B were not affected by the fire, and Enterprise is working to determine when it might be able to return and resume operations. Platform A was not affected and is operating normally, Rainey said.

"It was quite the haul out there [to the platform]," said Coast Guard Petty Officer Prentice Danner. "The fire was out when the cutter got there. [The flyover] confirmed the fire was out and reported a slight sheen, but it's something that would disperse naturally."

After the plant is deemed safe for reboarding, the Coast Guard will investigate the cause of the fire and explosion, it said.

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