The Coast Guard and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) are responding to a loss of well control event at Ship Shoal Block 225 Platform B, a natural gas and crude oil platform located approximately 74 miles southwest of Port Fourchon, Tuesday.
The Coast Guard and BSEE received a report from Energy Resources Technology Gulf of Mexico, LLC (ERT) owner of the oil and natural gas production platform. Work to temporarily plug Well #B2 was on-going when workers became aware of the well control event. Two other wells on Platform B were producing at the time and were subsequently shut-in.
All platform personnel were safely evacuated from the platform.
BSEE inspectors and Coast Guard pollution responders conducted overflights. According to ERT’s site assessment, natural gas is flowing from the well and there is a rainbow sheen visible on the surface estimated to be more than four miles wide by three quarters of a mile long.
Ship Shoal 225 B-2 well is an older gas condensate well in a field developed in the 1970’s that last produced mostly water in 1998 at a rate of 65 thousand cubic feet of gas per day, 9 barrels of condensate per day and 1,150 barrels of water per day at a low flowing pressure of 175 psi, and the well was unable to produce without artificial lift.
ERT issued a statement in which it said:“We were plugging and abandoning the well as part of our active idle iron removal program in coordination with the BSEE, and we believe that the age of the tubing may have contributed to the incident. Currently, there is a light sheen on the water, as described by BSEE and U.S. Coast Guard flyovers, which we anticipate will evaporate quickly; because the well is flowing mostly water at very low pressure, we believe that approximately six barrels of light condensate have been discharged in the last 24 hours based upon the four mile wide by three quarter mile long sheen as reported by the BSEE and the U.S. Coast Guard. We are focused on the safety of our personnel and taking all appropriate measures to limit any environmental impact and shut in the well as soon as possible, and we are fully cooperating with BSEE and the Coast Guard throughout our operations.”