U.S. News

Mariner says "not a blowout" at platform

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Mariner Energy Inc said Thursday afternoon that the fire aboard its Gulf of Mexico oil and gas platform was out, and that it was “not a blowout.”

A blowout is the uncontrolled release of crude oil and, or natural gas from a well after pressure control systems have failed.

“It wasn’t a blowout, it’s not an explosion,” spokesman Patrick Cassidy told Reuters. “The fire appears to have been in or near the living quarters on the upper deck.”

Cassidy said shortly before 3 p.m. CDT (2000 GMT) that the fire was extinguished on the platform more than 90 miles south of Louisiana’s Vermilion Bay. He also said the 13 crew members had been brought ashore.

There were no injuries, he said.

Cassidy said that the seven wells, which last week produced 1,400 barrels of oil per day and 9.2 million cubic feet per day of natural gas, were shut in.

“The facility is still standing. The fire was contained” to the upper of two decks, Cassidy said.

He said Mariner was investigating the cause.

The Gulf produces 1.6 million barrels of oil and 6.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. The output of Mariner’s platform last week amounted to 0.09 percent of Gulf oil and 0.14 percent of gas.

Reporting by Kristen Hays and Bruce Nichols; Editing by Marguerita Choy