Gulf of Mexico well catches fire after blowout

gulfA fire broke out on a shallow water drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico last month after a natural gas well ruptured.
The rig, owned by Houston-based Hercules Offshore as a contractor for the Walter Oil and Gas Corporation, is 88.5km off the Louisiana coast in 47m of water.
According to the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), Walter Oil and Gas lost control of its A-3 well on an unmanned platform at South Timbalier Block 220 on 23 July, while undertaking completion work to prepare the well for production.
The blowout forced the evacuation of 44 people. Nobody was on board when the fire broke out. The BSEE reported that supporting beams under the rig floor and derrick had collapsed but no oil was seen at the site. Hercules announced that the jackup rig was still standing but appeared to have sustained “extensive damage to the derrick package as a result of the continuing fire”. BSEE spokesperson Eileen Angelico told AAP that the exact cause of the fire was unknown.
The US Coast Guard confirmed that the fire was decreased to a small flame after the leaking natural gas well was bridged over.