Rig fire leaves sheen in Gulf of Mexico
By JEAN L. KAESS
COCODRIE — Crews remain at the site of a Gulf of Mexico production processing facility to clean up oil sheen after a fire Wednesday.
The W&T Offshore Ship Shoal 233 B Platform is located about 40 miles south of Terrebonne Parish. It caught fire shortly after 10 a.m. The U.S. Coast Guard 8th District reports the fire was extinguished about 2 p.m.
Three personnel were on the platform at the time of the incident, and all three were safely evacuated. One person suffered minor injuries, was treated at a local hospital and subsequently released, according to a W&T press release.
The Coast Guard deployed a helicopter out of New Orleans, a 45-foot medium response boat out of Grand Isle and the Cutter Pompano out of Gulfport, Miss., to the platform, which is located in 128 feet of water. All Coast Guard assets have since been recalled, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Elizabeth Bordelon.
Although less than two barrels of light oil were discharged into the water creating a sheen, which appears to be dissipating, crews from O’Brien’s Response Management were hired by W&T to handle the spill, Bordelon said.
The platform has been safely shut-in, W&T said.
Initial findings by the company indicate that the fire was caused by a leaking connection on the vertical heater treater; however, the company will do additional investigation to determine the root cause of the equipment malfunction, the release stated.
All safety equipment functioned properly during the shut-in phase of the response. Production will be restored once all repairs and maintenance can be performed, the W&T release indicated.