The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the United States Coast Guard have stood up a Command Center in their continued response to the loss of well control event 55 n.m. offshore Louisiana in 154-feet of water. Walter Oil and Gas Corporation had a loss of control of Well A-3 at nearly 8:45 am on an unmanned platform at South Timbalier Block 220 while doing completion work on the sidetrack well to prepare the well for production. Staff of 44 people were safely evacuated, according to the operator report, corrected from earlier reports of 47, from the Hercules 265 jack-up drilling rig.
The well keeps flowing natural gas. From a BSEE overflight earlier today, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement inspectors reported a cloud of natural gas above the oil rig and a light sheen on the water one-half mile by 50 feet in region, which is quickly dissipating.
"The efforts of BSEE today are focused on bringing this loss of well control event to a safe resolution," Lars Herbst told, Regional Director at BSEE, Gulf of Mexico. "Offshore oil and gas operators should re-affirm their aggressive approach to the safety of well operations in light of this event and other recent well control events."
BSEE is going to conduct an investigation into the cause of accident.