Breaking news of an oil rig or platform explosion and fire somewhere in the area of Grand Isle, Louisiana, or 80 miles south of Vermillion. According to a report on Fox News, the rig is owned by Mariner Energy. According to a Coast Guard spokeswoman, 13 people were on the rig at the time of the explosion and 13 people were plucked from the water by rescuers. At this time there is no oil seen in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The platform is identified as Vermillion Oil Rig 360Stay tuned for ongoing updates. See new video below, first posted at about noon EDT.
In this update stamp-dated 1:23 p.m. CDT the Coast Guard reports seeing a mile-long oil "sheen." One injury is reported in the explosion that happened at about 9 a.m. EDT. At 1 p.m. the platform was still burning. Mariner Energy is disputing the Coast Guard report of seeing oil.
Coast Guard officials described the burning structure as a platform, not a rig, which means it was not actively engaged in drilling. However, it was actively producing oil and gas from seven different wells, Jindal said. The fire was sparked at one of those wells, and all seven of them have since been shut in, Jindal said....
Many of the crews that responded to the blast are those in the area for the cleanup of the BP oil spill, which followed the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20.Those rescued will be taken to Terrebonne Genearl Medical Center in Houma.
I've heard two estimates of the depth of the underwater operations: the first was 350' below the surface of the water, and the second is 2500' underwater.
Yesterday, the Financial Times reported employees from Apache and Mariner, along with thousands of oil industry workers, rallied in Houston to protest the Obama administration's offshore drilling moratorium.