Natural gas well leaking in Gulf - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Natural gas well leaking in Gulf

Updated:
JANET McCONNAUGHEY
Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Natural gas leaked Tuesday from a well at a platform producing oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico about 75 miles off the Louisiana coast after a crew working to temporarily plug the well lost control of it, the Coast Guard said.

Coast Guard Lt. Lily Zepeda said the well did not blow out and there was no explosion or fire on the platform. People on the platform were evacuated, but it wasn't immediately clear how many.

Zepeda said a mixture of water and gas is leaking from the well, which is in water 144 feet deep. An aerial survey on Tuesday revealed a rainbow sheen four miles wide and three-quarters of a mile long on the Gulf surface, she said.

There is no indication the leak will take on the scale of the 2010 blowout of BP's Macondo well about 100 miles to the east, Zepeda said. The BP blowout resulted in more than 200 million gallons of oil escaping from the well, a mile deep in the Gulf.

The Coast Guard said a crew was working Monday night to temporarily plug the well and lost control of it. The well was not producing any oil at the time. Two other wells that were producing on the platform were closed off. Petty Officer Jonathan Lally said everyone on the platform was evacuated safely.

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement spokeswoman Eileen Angelico identified the owner of the well and platform as Energy Resources Technology Gulf of Mexico LLC. She said officials don't have an estimate of how much gas has leaked.

The company could not immediately be reached for comment.

Federal authorities said they are working with the owners to plug the leak, which occurred from a completed well that was already in production and in relatively shallow water.

The BP well was being drilled from the platform Deepwater Horizon. An explosion killed 11 workers there and set off a massive oil spill.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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