Gulf oil platform explodes

Katherine - posted on 09/02/2010 ( 28 moms have responded )

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NEW ORLEANS, La. – An offshore petroleum platform exploded and was burning Thursday in the Gulf of Mexico about 100 miles off the Louisiana coast, west of the site where BP's undersea well spilled after a rig explosion.

The Coast Guard said no one was killed in the explosion, which was spotted by a commercial helicopter flying over the site Thursday morning. All 13 people aboard the rig have been accounted for, with one injury. The extent of the injury was not known.

They were rescued from the water by an offshore service vessel, the Crystal Clear, said Coast Guard Cmdr. She said they were taken to a nearby platform. All were being flown to the Terrebonne General Medical Center in Houma to be checked over.

"Thirteen people were seen huddled together in the water wearing gumby suits or immersion suits, water protection suits, so we were able to confirm that all people were accounted for," Coast Guard spokesman Chief Petty Officer John Edwards said.

Seven Coast Guard helicopters, two airplanes and three cutters were dispatched to the scene from New Orleans, Houston and Mobile, Ala., Ben-Iesau said. She said authorities do not know whether oil was leaking from the site.

The platform, known as Vermilion Oil Platform 380, was owned by Mariner Energy of Houston, according to a homeland security operations update obtained by The Associated Press. The platform was not producing oil and gas, according to the operations report.

Melissa Schwartz, spokeswoman for Bureau of Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement, said the platform was authorized to produce oil and gas at this water depth but had not been recently in active production.

"There were ongoing maintenance activities underway," she said, adding it was in approximately 340 feet of water.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said President Barack Obama was in a national security meeting and did not know whether Obama had been informed of the explosion.

"We obviously have response assets ready for deployment should we receive reports of pollution in the water," Gibbs said.

A call to the company seeking comment was not immediately returned.

Mariner Energy focuses on oil and gas exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico. In April, Apache Corp., another independent petroleum company, announced plans to buy Mariner in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $3.9 billion, including the assumption of about $1.2 billion of Mariner's debt. That deal is pending.

Apache spokesman Bob Dye said the platform is in shallow water. A company report said the well was drilled in the third quarter of 2008 in 340 feet of water.

Responding to an oil spill in shallow water is much easier than in deep water, where crews depend on remote-operated vehicles access equipment on the sea floor.

The platform is about 200 miles west of BP's blown out Macondo well. On Friday, BP was expected to begin the process of removing the cap and failed blowout preventer, another step toward completion of a relief well that would complete the choke of the well. The BP-leased rig Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20, killing 11 people and setting off a massive oil spill.

__Does anyone else find this ridiculous? I mean REALLY? Who cares if it can be contained, WTF???? It's just west from the BP oil spill but in "shallow water." Which apparently is easier to clean up.

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[deleted account]

I agree that we NEED to stop our dependency on oil. But the only way that will work is to do it gradually. Do you not care about the thousands who will go into poverty because of the moratorium? Do you want to kick us while we're down and destroy more jobs in the state? Yes, put more effort into alternative energy. Yes, stop NEW drilling. But until we can be totally reliant on alternative energy (and oil workers can have jobs in the other industries), we need oil.

[deleted account]

Oh and 1 in 70 people in my state have a job in the oil industry. A moratorium hurts. BAD.

Yes, we should work on being independent from oil. But cutting thousands of jobs in an already hurting economy is not the best answer right now.

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[deleted account]

The thing is, that wasn't the second one. You wouldn't have even heard about it if not for the big one in April. It would have made local news here, but for one or two days. Accidents with little to no injury and no casualties and no oil spilled happens all the time. The nation is getting worked up over a common occurrence. But you know what? Something needs to change. It needs to be made safer. These common place occurrences really shouldn't be happening. We need to stop oil dependency. I agree with all that. But everyone is worked up over "the second oil spill" and everyone here is shaken from the big one, but this one is really not that big of a deal. The reality is that a moratorium would hurt us. The reality is that we can't stop all drilling, because we are so dependent on it. So for me, there is a happy medium. Keep drilling while working to keep our oil workers and the environment safe. Keep drilling until we can cut our dependency.

Katherine - posted on 09/03/2010

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It is truely a conundrum. There is no happy medium. I guess you have to weigh the risks vs the benefits....which IMHO outweigh the benefits. There has to be something else. These explosions are causing WORLDWIDE damage. Sara, you live there, it must be horrible. Thank God the second one didn't leave any casualties.

The are still being reckless.

It wouldn't surprise me if some wacko activists were blowing up rigs so we'd stop drilling, because this shit just can't be a coincidence.



Sorry got waaaaay over----------->there.

Jenny - posted on 09/03/2010

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No, we do not NEED money to eat or drink. It is just currently more convenient.

Morgan - posted on 09/03/2010

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Jenny no we cant eat or drink money...........But we need money to eat and drink.
I think its all horrible but I cant see being "oil free" anytime in the near furture if ever.

Jenny - posted on 09/03/2010

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I truly don't care how many jobs are lost, we cannot eat or drink money. It is NOT essential.

We HAVE to stop using oil. We are willingly killing ourselves by allowing this to continue.

[deleted account]

I agree that the oil explosion was and is a nightmare. And new safety regulations are NEEDED. But the people who work on them NEED the work. We can't stop all oil drilling anyway, because we are so dependent on oil. I'm all for slowly stopping our dependency on oil. I'm all for much tighter safety regulations. I'm just saying Louisiana has suffered enough without directly cutting 2% of our jobs (and indirectly affecting more).

Kate CP - posted on 09/02/2010

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Shallow water means the booms will work better. See below (warning: contains crass language)

Katherine - posted on 09/02/2010

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@ Sara H. there won't be jobs anyways the way it's been going. How dare they have ANOTHER explosion??? How could they be so damn reckless again? It freakin pisses me off and makes me want to stab someone. I wouldn't entirely discount what Bailey has said, too many explosions, too many "accidents", too many.......

[deleted account]

I can get behind no new drilling. We need to work our way off oil dependency anyway. But I can't get behind stopping drilling in the gulf altogether, cold turkey. That would make a bad situation worse for my fellow statesmen. And it would be fabulous if they could be employed by alternative energy companies.

Johnny - posted on 09/02/2010

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Well, they are "that bad" but like others have said, until we find ways to get around without fossil fuels, we are going to have to pick the source of our poison. The oil sands could get worse if they start container shipping it off the west coast. Not to mention that they're now shipping many of the jobs for building those facilities to Asia. So it's not creating jobs here.

Johnny - posted on 09/02/2010

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oh dear me! lol.

Anyway, I personally think it is time for a moratorium on any NEW drilling in the oceans anywhere at all. Exxon has just announced that it is indeed going to proceed with a large deepwater platform off the coast of Newfoundland. I am so disappointed. Yes, the investment would bring some jobs, but the potential for disaster is enormous and would effect large segments of the economy in a very negative way. Why do this now? Why not wait to drill until safer ways can be found? It's not like the oil is going anywhere? And it's not like it won't actually be worth MORE money in the future. Meanwhile, put these people to work in developing clean energy and cleaning up the environment.

My job is researching these large energy projects. It is scandalously difficult for companies to get investment into wind, solar, and tidal energy projects, but everyone is happy to invest in oil. Do you know who is funding the fight to stop the Cape Wind Project in Massachusetts? Oil corporations. They're not concerned about jobs. And they are spending their "research" money looking into how to do their work with less employees, not how to do it safer.

Bailey - posted on 09/02/2010

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Ok, here I go again with the conspiracy theories, but I truly believe these explosions were no accident. It's just too much of a "coincidence" to me that Goldman Sachs and other investments firms sold off massive amounts of BP stocks just before the original explosion occurred. Not sure what the motive would be for this action. Possibly a distraction, possibly it's meant to further cripple the economy with the moratorium eliminating more jobs. Just my opinion here, of course. Here's the article about the investment firms selling off their stock. Seems a bit fishy to me: http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0602/month-o...

[deleted account]

Believe me, I understand the impact this spill has had. No one has been left untouched by it. But taking more jobs while the state is already down and out is hard. So why can't the oil companies and government put safety standards and review the current ones while these people are working? They WANT to work. They NEED to work.

Sara - posted on 09/02/2010

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I understand what you're saying about the moratorium hurting people by being temporarily unemployed. However, what's more hurtful? People being laid off for 6 month or thousands of people losing their livelihood because of polluted water? The oil spill affected the tourism industry, the seafood industry, the restaurant industry, etc. It's effects were far reaching. So, for me, a moratorium is the lesser of two evils and would hopefully help more people in the end than it would hurt.

[deleted account]

By all means make the practice safer. But, in the meantime, whose going to put food on the tables of the oil field workers?

Sara - posted on 09/02/2010

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No one's talking about cutting jobs permenantly. But I don't think there's anything wrong with a moratorium to figure out new, safer practices that will be in the best interest of everyone in the long run. It's not our government's fault, I blame corporations like BP for cutting so many corners. It'd dangerous and unfair to workers, IMO.

[deleted account]

I saw a clip on Leno right after the first oil spill. It was an advertisement for the next disaster in Louisiana for the year 2015. 2005 Katrina, 2010 oil spill, seriously what does 2015 hold?

Sharon - posted on 09/02/2010

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Seriously - I saw this headline and said "WTF?" outloud. Oil drilling needs help. A slap to the back of the head, huge friggen fines, and laws that say they need a back up plan for the accidents.

Until we can find a way to be oil free. One of these days....

Katherine - posted on 09/02/2010

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I feel REALLY, really bad for the people who live in Louisiana. That poor state.

Sara - posted on 09/02/2010

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And we didn't need that moratorium on off shore drilling.. **rolls eyes**

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