WWNO New Orleans at 4:27p ET: Gulf of Mexico Well Evacuated Due to Uncontrolled Gas Flow […] A natural gas well located approximately 50 miles east of Venice in the Gulf of Mexico is releasing gas uncontrolled and has been evacuated, according to a report today in Fuel Fix, an energy news website operated in part by the Houston Chronicle. The site reports 15 workers were evacuated from the Ensco 87 rig, which sits in 218 feet of water, after tests found natural gas had migrated from the 8300-foot well to a sand formation approximately 1100 feet below the seabed. This uncontrolled flow happened after a blowout preventer had been activated.
Fuel Fix at 12:20p ET: Problems first arose on Feb. 4, when workers on the Ensco 87 jackup rig detected a kick, or uncontrolled flow of fluid, in the well. In response, they activated a blowout preventer, which apparently was successful in keeping natural gas from escaping the well. However later testing revealed that gas had migrated from the bottom of the roughly 8,300-foot well to a shallower sand formation 1,100 feet below the seabed.
Wall St. Journal at 4:45p ET: Apache Corp. has detected an underground flow of natural gas at the site of a shallow-water exploratory well in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, the company and U.S. regulators said. […] Apache said it is now working with well-control experts to stop the flow of natural gas below the seafloor. At the BSEE’s direction, Apache is readying another rig to bring to the site in case a relief well needs to be drilled.
Offshore Magazine at 4:34p ET: Offshore oil and gas regulators in the US are responding to a report of an underground gas flow at an Apache Corp.-operated exploratory well in the Gulf of Mexico. […] The company has brought in well control experts from Boots and Coots to kill the well and is mobilizing the Rowan Cecil Provine rig to the site in case a relief well needs to be drilled.
Fox Business: In a statement posted on its website, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which oversees the safety of offshore operations, said that Houston’s Apache successfully activated the blow-out preventer on the drilling rig to prevent natural gas from flowing to the surface. No gas has been detected at the seafloor nor pollution at the location, but additional testing found an underground flow of natural gas, BSEE said.
“Once we realized this was unconventional, we started having more discussions (with regulators) […] We evacuated non-essential personnel, we brought in the experts and we notified the government” – Apache spokesman John Roper
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