BSEE: Gas, condensate release reported in Gulf of Mexico

A natural gas and condensate release has been reported from a Kinetica Partners LLC-operated pipeline on West Cameron Block 165 in the Gulf of Mexico, 32 miles southwest of Cameron, La.

The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and US Coast Guard (USCG) are responding after a helicopter pilot flying over the site reported the incident to the USCG at 2 p.m. on Jan. 18.

Fieldwood Energy LLC, operator of the block, verified a “bubbling and sheen” about ¼- to ½-mile southeast of Platform WC-165, which is in 48 ft of water. The sheen was 1 mile across and 10 miles long. Fieldwood estimated the spill volume to be 17.9 bbl at the time.

Fieldwood also reported that the platform is currently shut in pending completion of plugging and abandonment. No platform personnel were affected by the leak at the time of the report.

BSEE said its inspectors are planning to fly to WC-165 on Jan. 19 when weather permits to determine the source of the pipeline leak, work with Fieldwood to determine the extent of the release, and review the firm’s efforts to shut in the pipeline flow.

Houston-based Kinetica owns and operates more than 1,600 miles of gathering and transmission pipelines serving producers in and near the gulf. Houston-based Fieldwood, a portfolio company of private equity firm Riverstone Holdings LLC, owns interest in about 500 leases in the gulf covering more than 2 million gross acres.

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