The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) responded Tuesday to a well control incident at a natural gas and crude oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM).
The platform, owned by Energy Resources Technology Gulf of Mexico LLC (ERT), is at Ship Shoal Block 225, 74 miles southwest of Port Fourchon, LA. At the time of the incident, workers were temporarily plugging one well at the platform. Two other wells on the platform were producing at the time and were subsequently shut in, USCG said. All personnel on the platform were safely evacuated.
The GOM incident was not a well blowout, and there was no explosion or fire on the platform. The well, which is in relatively shallow water, is an older one in a field that was developed in the 1970s.
ERT on Tuesday said gas was flowing from the well and there was a shallow rainbow sheen visible on the water's surface, estimated to be more than four miles wide and three-quarter miles long, according to USCG.
"The BSEE Houma [LA] District staff and Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Morgan City [LA] personnel are monitoring well control and pollution response efforts in ERT's command center in Houston," USCG said. An investigation into the cause of the incident is planned.
Last February, ERT was acquired from Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. by Talos Production LLC, a unit of privately held, Houston-based Talos Energy LLC for $620 million.
Talos Energy President Timothy Duncan said late Tuesday that when workers were plugging the nonproducing well, salt water with a small amount of natural gas and condensate began to flow from around the wellhead. He said at the time the well would likely be shut in within 24 hours.
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