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Fire out on Gulf well that ‘snuffed itself out’

July 25, 2013 • Business


A fire is seen on the Hercules 265 drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, Wednesday, July 24, 2013. Natural gas spewed uncontrolled from the well on Tuesday after a blowout that forced the evacuation of 44 workers aboard the drilling rig, authorities said. No injuries were reported in the blowout. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A drilling rig that caught fire after a natural gas blowout in the Gulf of Mexico appears stable now that the fire is out, and there was no sign of any oil sheen on a fly-over Thursday morning, a rig company executive said.

“The well essentially snuffed itself out,” said Jim Noe, a vice president with the rig owner Hercules Offshore Inc., speaking in a telephone interview.

The well had blown wild Tuesday, forcing the evacuation of 44 workers. The rig caught fire Tuesday night and part of it collapsed.

The federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced Thursday morning that the well had clogged with sand and sediment, a process called “bridging over” that Noe said can commonly happen with shallow water wells.

Now, officials are focusing efforts on Login to read more

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