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Louisiana Methane Leak in New Madrid Complex, Emergency Evacs

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Photo: In the ‘City that Care Forgot,’ protesters say,

‘Never forget” the BP crime against humanity, April 2010. 


Update: Feb. 1, 7:00 P.M. EST

EnVen Energy Ventures of Metairie, La. Company spokesman David Blackmon has reported that the flow from the well has “significantly diminished.”

According to Blackman, the leak from the wild well consists mainly of water and sand, with “just a trace” of natural gas. 

Friday’s cold temperatures are blamed for inspectors not going out sooner, officials say.

A spokeswoman for the environmental department, Eileen Angelico, said water temperatures in the Gulf were too cold Friday for the agency to send its own officials out to inspect the scene.

Another platform producing oil and gas near the EnVen rig also was shut down as a precaution.

Workers last night cut in half the flow of natural gas from the ”out-of-control well” drilled by Rowan Companies Plc in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana’s coast, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Source: ABC News, Bloomerg


Update: Feb. 1, 4:00 EST : 

“Responders still continue to control the flow,” Petty Officer Bill Colclough said today, indicating, according to Bloomberg, liquid natural gas is flowing.

He did not give an estimate on the rate of methane gas and fluid flowing from the well.

The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, that which oversees offshore drilling, is monitoring the crisis.

Offshore oil and gas drilling work has been under closer scrutiny since the blowout of BP Plc’s Macondo well in April 2010 killed 11 workers and set off a oil volcano that continued to flow and foul thousands of square miles, that shut much of Gulf’s fishing, killed and untold number of people and left an untold thousands sick from BP’s oil and Nalco’s Corexit.


Methane gas is spewing near Louisiana’s coast as workers battle to kill an out-of-control well. Air-lifted evacuations of all non-essential personnel have been conducted and Coast Guard HU-25 crews are responding. The oil rig and platform are in the Gulf Of Mexico area connected to the New Madrid Falt Complex.

(Photo Non-essential personnel airlifted from explosive methane leaking well site.)

The operator, EnVen, reported it was drilling from its jack-up rig called the Rowan Louisiana when the well began flowing gas, according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. (BSEE)

Essential personnel are battling to kill the out-of-control well, according to the BSEE. 

The out-of-control Rowan Louisiana rig is in Vermillion Block 356, near Louisiana’s coast and the BP-wrecked Macondo Prospect, around 108 miles southwest of Lafayette.

Officials say no injuries or pollution have been reported.

The Coast Guard reported by midday Friday that  the well leak has been cut in half.

The rig was drilling 256 feet down. 

EnVen Energy Ventures, LLC, an oil and gas exploration and development services company, a subsidiary of Palm Energy Partners, LLC, is operating the rig.  

“The Captioned well has been directionally drilled to an objective on SM 166 from the VR 356 A Platform. Logging while drilling tools indicated the presence of two gas zones at 1340 feet [measured depth] MD and 1,830 feet MD, both of which were anticipated in the well construction plan which was approved,” stated EnVen’s Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Garrett, to Rigzone.  

“At 2,217 feet MD, a routine wiper trip was conducted, pulling the drill string back up inside the 13-3/8-inch casing with the bit at 1,140 feet MD (77 feet inside the 13-3/8”). With bit inside casing, a routine circulation was commencing when the well began to flow.”

The well was reportedly put on a diverter system for formation fluids to vent overboard while working to get the well killed.

“The well continues to flow through the diverter system while efforts kill the well continue.”

BSEE added that the adjacent platform was producing oil and gas and was shut-in.

The Coast Guard sent an HU-25 Falcon crew from Corpus Christi to assess the scene, and noted that it has not yet received a request for assistance from anyone in the Gulf.

“All nonessential personnel were evacuated from the rig. Thus far, there have been no personnel incidents or accidents and no pollution as the flow is natural gas/water/sand,” Garrett added.

BSEE will investigate the incident, it stated in a press release.

The rig has been drilling into a fault area that intersects with the infamous New Madrid complex.

Since at least 2005, it’s been known that drilling into the Gulf of Mexico salt domes where quakes, have already been recorded, with a 6.0 further south in the fault area, poses a risk of a Louisiana methane leak and explosion

Author’s Note: To families with loved ones working for this operation, the author offers sympathy and apology for this limited information at this time. This article is based on a  BSEE  alert and press release.


Source: BSEE

Photo credit: Facebook, Sherwood Gagliano, Port Publishing Co.


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    Total 7 comments
    • Paul Brown

      Sounds like bizness as usual. Move along folks, nothing to see here.

      • Deborah Dupre

        Yeah – silly me. Just another day feeding Americans’ fossil fuel addiction. Why do I care? Why should anyone. Yes, nothing here… move right along… until someone you know is poisoned or injured or killed.

    • Terry L Smith

      As an old school retired journalist, I have to ask:
      1. WHAT ‘suspected new plate’? Do you mean the old, old volcanic evidence found?
      2. Louiosiana is not, and has not been tied to, the “New Madrid FAULT line”. If you use the word ‘complex’, use it in it’s correct Webster definitions, not the newer idiotic make up word newspeak!
      3. You refer to two seismic events. WHEN, exactly, WHERE, to be more precise, HOW were they recorded on the Richter scale? Where are your sources, or did you use “the TV bear tissue”?
      4. NOT EVERYBODY HAS ANY TIME FOR FACEBOOK IDIOCY!!! Write a real story, CHECK YOUR SPELLING to include using “an offline thing called a dictionary or a thesaurus”.

      Lastly, on local AM Louisiana radio, a story of this kind, gets 15 seconds. I gave you 3 minutes.

      • Deborah Dupre

        Thank you for your kindness and even temper.

        If truly interested in the connecting fault zones and implications, may I suggest looking at Gagliano’s superb work about that, possible methane leaks and explosions in that area. Hope to hear back from you afterwards.

        Lastly, thank you for reminding readers that this type of threat occurs so often, it gets “15 seconds” on local corporate news stations. If so, of course, it shows just what a sad state of affairs our dependency on fossil fuels is when lives are risked daily to maintain the addiction.

        Judging from comments by loved ones of workers on that rig, the incident is heart wrenching – at least for them, if not people in the dangerous dirty industry and its trolls.

        Thanks, again.

    • Dante Matterson

      The madrid faultline does not run through Detroit Michigan like this graphic shows. In fact it doesn’t even really come close to Michigan but heads into lake Erie near Cleveland through central Ohio

      • Deborah Dupre

        Thank you. Bad map, indeed. Replaced it with Dr. Sherwood’s.

        Interesting that the New Madrid is trembling today, too.

    • Deborah Dupre

      “Happens all the time, no biggie,” pro-industry and trolls say. “Keep moving… no problem,” Big Gov officials say. “OMG, I don’t know if he got off of it or not,” workers’ loved ones were saying earlier today.

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