The BSEE has confirmed a fire has erupted on the Hercules 265 drilling rig, off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. The jackup drilling rig suffered a well control incident on Tuesday, July 23rd. The BSEE reports natural gas flowing from the rig ignited Tuesday night.
44 personnel were about the Hercules 265 at the time of the incident. All have been evacuated safely. No injuries have been reported.
Hercules and customer Walter Oil & Gas are currently working to stop the flow of gas and identify the cause of the incident. Additional experts have been brought in to aid in regaining control of the well, or possibly drilling a relief well.
A firefighting vessel with water and foam capabilities is in the vicinity of the rig. Coast Guard and the FAA are keeping most other vessels and aircraft away from the area.
Officials are downplaying any similarity between this accident and the 2010 BP oil spill, also located off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico.