Photo: Second Gulf of Mexico Oil Explosion in Six Months
Nearly five months after the worst environmental disaster in U.S. History, a second incident on Thursday sent waves of fear through the nation. Reports are that the initial flyover of the site showed “no hydro-carbon spill” although a sheen was noted on the surface of the water 100 ft wide and stretching out for a mile.
Yesterdays incident involved a production platform located about 100 miles of f the central coast of Louisiana. By contrast the Deepwater Horizon massive oil spill was a drilling rig that housed 126 workers. Thursday’s incident involved a production platform, which is built after the well has been drilled and remains in place for years.
Mariner Energy owns the Platform and has announced that all 13 of their employees were found safe floating in a raft. David Reed, a paramedic on board a nearby oil rig, said he suddenly saw “a bunch of smoke” from the direction of the Vermilion platform, and radios in his rig’s control room started “lighting up like a Christmas tree” soon after.
The Obama administration imposed a six-month ban on deep water drilling in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon explosion in April. The deepwater drilling industry sued to overturn the ban and won in June. In July the government tried again to impose another moratorium asked that the June decision be reversed, and just this week a federal judge denied the request. The Vermilion platform involved yesterday did not violate the moratorium however, because it was not drilling in water deeper than 500 ft.
”This was an oil and gas production platform in approximately 340 feet of water, 102 miles offshore Louisiana (80 nautical miles),“ she said. ”This platform was authorized to produce oil and gas at this water depth. The current suspension involves drilling rigs in water depths greater than 500 feet,“ she said.