Gulf Oil Rig Fire Extinguished

In Americas, News Headlines, Pollution

A fire caused by an explosion on an oil platform off the Louisiana coast has been extinguished, the Coast Guard has confirmed.

Initial reports suggested that an oil sheen a mile long and 100 feet wide had begun to spread from the site of the blast, about 200 miles west of the site of BP’s massive Deep Horizon oil spill.

But hours later, Coast Guard officials said crews were unable to find any spill.

“The fire is out, and Coast Guard helicopters on scene, and vessels on scene, have no reports of a visible sheen in the water. There is no report of an evidence of leaks,” Coast Guard official Peter Troedsson said at a news conference in New Orleans.

The company that owns the platform, Houston-based Mariner Energy, did not know what caused the explosion.

Mariner officials said there were seven active production wells on the platform, and they were shut down shortly before the fire broke out.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said the company told him the fire began in 100 barrels of light oil condensate, but officials did not know yet what sparked the flames.

The platform is in about 340 feet of water and about 100 miles south of Vermilion Bay on the central Louisiana coast.

Its location is considered shallow water, much less than the approximately 5,000 feet where BP’s well spewed oil and gas for three months after an April rig explosion.

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