UPDATE 2-Depleted offshore Gulf gas well suffers blowout, small leak

Tue Jul 9, 2013 10:08pm EDT

* Operator expects to plug well within 24 hours

* Leak began while company was attempting permanent plug

July 9 (Reuters) - An inactive natural gas well in the shallow Gulf of Mexico suffered a blowout on Tuesday as operators were trying to permanently plug the well, causing an oil sheen that briefly rekindled memories of the BP Plc spill three years ago.

Houston-based Talos Energy LLC said it was in the process of shutting the inactive Ship Shoal 225 B-2 well when natural gas and condensate began flowing on Monday.

"In an abundance of caution, we decided to evacuate the platform and mobilize our spill response team, we notified the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the U.S. Coast Guard, and we shut-in two other producing wells at the platform," said Talos President and Chief Executive Timothy Duncan.

Talos, which owns the well through its subsidiary Energy Resources Technology Gulf of Mexico LLC, said the well should be plugged within 24 hours. The leak may have been due to the age of the tubing on the well, the company said.

While the leak 74 miles south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana, is tiny compared to the disastrous Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010 that dumped 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf, it was one of the first reported blowouts in the Gulf since then.

"(The Ship Shoal 225 B-2 well) last produced mostly water in 1998 at a rate of 65,000 cubic feet of gas, 9 barrels of condensate and 1,150 barrels of water per day at a low flowing pressure of 175 pounds per square inch," Talos said. The well could not produce without artificial lift.

All five people working on the platform were evacuated.

A U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said it did not have an immediate comment on Talos' plans to plug the leak.

"We are working closely with BSEE in overseeing that things are done properly," said Coast Guard spokesman Jonathan Lally.

Energy Resources has assets in the Gulf that average just 16,155 barrels of oil equivalent per day, with over two-thirds of that crude oil, Talos said in February.

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Comments (1)
Accidents happen, especially in the fossil-fuel industry. This is yet another testament to the inevitability of the tragic catastrophes caused by the procurement of dirty energy. Continued reliance on fossil fuels, has proven exorbitantly expensive for energy consumers, harmful to the planet, and dangerous for all citizens. A paper recently published by researchers at the Environmental Protection Agency found that accounting for human health impacts of fossil fuel electricity (costs associated with premature deaths, medical visits, hospitalizations, medication, and reduced activity, including working days lost) would add an average of 14 to 35 cents per kilowatt-hour to the retail cost of electricity. Nationwide, these hidden health costs add up to as much as $886.5 billion annually, or 6% of GDP. To learn more about the health impacts and costs of fossil-fuel reliance, read this: http://www.forbes.com/sites/justingerdes/2013/04/08/how-much-do-health-impacts-from-fossil-fuel-electricity-cost-the-u-s-economy/

The fact is that the US does not need to increase reliance on fossil fuels by expanding natural gas procurement. Developing clean local energy (also known as distributed generation and most recognizable in the form of wind turbines and solar panels) is a much sounder investment. Generating energy close to where it’s consumed from smaller-scale, decentralized facilities leads to local economic benefits such as job creation and private sector investment. Distributed renewable generation also avoids the expensive, inefficient, and dangerous long-distance transmission of energy. Lastly, shifting towards increased distributed renewable generation enhances energy security and grid reliability, and massively reduces GHG emissions. To learn more about CLEAN Programs and how to accelerate the transition to a system of clean local energy, visit http://www.clean-coalition.org/unleashing-clean/about-clean-programs/

Jul 11, 2013 6:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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