BSEE monitoring offshore gas leak

Offshore staff

HOUSTON – 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 Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said no gas or pollution had been detected at the Main Pass 295 drill site, which is in 218-ft (66-m) water depths about 50 mi east of Venice, Louisiana.

Apache successfully activated the blowout preventer on the Ensco 87 when the drilling rig experienced what Apache described in a statement as “a kick from an abnormally pressured gas zone” on February 5. Subsequent testing detected gas migration from the bottom of the well, which had reached 8,261 ft (2,518 m), to another sand formation about 1,100 ft (335 m) below the seabed.

“The well was shut in, and the blowout preventers are functioning properly,” Apache said.

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.

There were no injuries associated with the incident. Fifteen non-essential crew members were evacuated and about 50 remain on board the rig, Apache said.


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