HOUSTON, July 23 A shallow-water oil and gas
well in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana blew out
on Tuesday morning and 47 people were safely evacuated,
government officials said.
Hercules Offshore, which owns the jackup rig that
was drilling to prepare the Walter Oil & Gas well for
production, said the company was working to regain control of
Shares of Hercules were down 3.3 percent at $7.62.
The well is about 55 miles offshore in 154 feet of water.
The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said
the well was flowing gas but no oil was being released. It added
there was a "light sheen" a half mile by 50 feet across that was
Authorities have tightened safety regulations since the BP
Plc 2010 Macondo blowout and oil spill that spewed more
than 4 million barrels of crude into the Gulf.