The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) on Friday confirmed that the flow of natural gas from a well leaking in the shallow-water Gulf of Mexico (GOM) had been stopped.

Well owner Energy Resource Technology LLC (ERT) stopped the flow of gas from well No. 2 at Ship Shoal Block 225, Platform B. The flow from the well, about 74 miles southwest of Port Fourchon, LA, was stopped using a pumping operation approved by BSEE that involved pumping drilling fluids into the well.

More work is required to permanently secure the well, BSEE said. In the interim, the agency is requiring that ERT monitor the well for any changes. BSEE engineers are reviewing plans and procedures from ERT for moving forward to isolate the well's hydrocarbon zone. A BSEE supervisory inspector was on board the platform Friday monitoring the ongoing site assessment and well analysis.

Preparations and work to permanently seal the well were expected to continue through the weekend. BSEE first confirmed reports from ERT that there was a loss of well control on Monday, July 8, at about 9:45 a.m CDT (see Daily GPI, July 11). 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. All personnel on the platform were safely evacuated.

The well is an older gas condensate well in a field developed in the 1970s that last produced mostly water in 1998. ERT is a unit of Talos Energy LLC. Talos spokesman David Blackmon told NGI on Friday that a "mud job" late Thursday evening had successfully stopped the flow of gas from the well. "It's been monitored since then and the pressure's been static," he said. On Friday, weather and the fear of lightening strikes delayed work to permanently kill the well, he said.

The sheen that had appeared in the area was completely gone, but there was a small amount of sheen around the platform due to runoff from the rainstorm, Blackmon said. In total about 10 bbl of natural gas/condensate was thought to have leaked from the well, Blackmon said.

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