Vermilion Bay Oil Rig 380 Explosion?

Another oil rig has exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. The New York Times reports that the rig is “just east” of the Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded in April, leading to the massive Gulf oil spill.
The offshore production platform owned by Mariner Energy Inc. caught fire and they can't figure out the reason yet. The explosion raised more doubts in Congress about the risks of offshore drilling.
The Coast Guard sent seven helicopters and numerous vessels to the Vermilion oil rig 380, which is 80 miles south of Vermilion Bay.

Is this oil rig explosion the beginning of a new natural disaster?

asked by Rain in Geography | 3076 views | 09-03-2010 at 12:39 AM

Not this time, I think.

Coast Guard officials described the burning structure as a platform, not a rig, which means it was not actively engaged in drilling. However, it was actively producing oil and gas from seven different wells. The fire was sparked at one of those wells, and all seven of them have since been shut in.

Luckily, there's some good news: Even if the situation becomes severe, the cleanup process would be much easier on this platform than during the BP debacle. The AP reports that this well was dug in shallow water, unlike BP's rig, and this makes cleaning oil off the ocean floor much simpler.

The crew members were picked up by a commercial ship, the Crystal Clear, and taken to another platform. Coast Guard helicopters are taking the rescued to Terrebonne General Medical Center in Houma.

A White House spokesman addressed the rig explosion in his daily briefing saying, "We obviously have response assets ready for deployment, should we receive reports of pollution in the water."

answered by Sharp | 09-03-2010 at 12:40 AM

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