The oil rig fire in the Gulf of Mexico has subsided. Regulators report that the gas flow from the ruptured well has been stopped. They state that the fire has now been reduced to a “small flame.”
The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement explained that “small pieces of sediment” have contained the leak. As the sediment settled around the leak, it is now temporarily blocked.
As reported by Reuters, the remaining fire is being fueled by residual gas that collected near the top of the well.
Workers unexpectedly hit a pocket of natural gas, which caused the oil rig fire in the Gulf. An initial sheen was observed on the water’s surface, but soon dissipated. No other signs of oil leakage were observed at the site.
The fire damaged the rig, as numerous support beams collapsed. A total of 44 crew members were evacuated from the burning rig without incident. No injuries were reported in the blast.
As reported by CNN, Hercules 265 is located around 60 miles from Grand Isle, Louisiana. The rig is set in water that is around 154 feet deep.
Walter Gas & Oil has prepared to transport a jack-up rig to the location. However, officials are still evaluating whether drilling a relief well is necessary.
The sediment blocking the leak has contained the immediate issue. However, it is unclear whether it is a stable or suitable long-term solution.
The ultimate decision will likely be made by the BSEE, who closely monitors compliance with safety regulations.
Hercules Offshore, who owns the well, has hired an environmental expert to monitor conditions surrounding the rig. The water and air will be tested regularly for any signs of contamination.
As the rig fire in the Gulf subsides, officials continue to closely monitor the situation.
[Image via Flickr]