GOM UPDATE: Loss of well control during sidetracking 55 mi offshore Louisiana

7/23/2013

GOM UPDATE: Loss of well control during sidetracking 55 mi offshore Louisiana

GULF OF MEXICO -- The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is responding to a report of a loss of well control 55 miles offshore Louisiana in 154 feet of water. According to a BSEE news release, Walter Oil & Gas reported the loss of control of Well A-3 on an unmanned platform at South Timbalier Block 220 while doing completion work on the sidetrack well to prepare the well for production. The well is flowing gas and no oil is being released. The operator reports that 47 personnel have been evacuated safely from the Hercules 265 jack-up rig.

BSEE inspectors conducting an overflight reported a light sheen one-half mile by 50 feet in area which is dissipating almost immediately. BSEE inspectors will remain at a near-by platform to keep abreast of the situation. BSEE is closely monitoring Walter Oil & Gas' mobilization of its response efforts to stop the flow of gas and secure the well. BSEE is closely coordinating with the Coast Guard and other federal agencies on response efforts.

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