Update: Gas Flow from Gulf Rig Stops, Fire Nearly Extinguished

From Edition.CNN.com:

By Michael Pearson

Natural gas has stopped flowing from a damaged oil well off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico, the Federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said Thursday.

The fire aboard a drilling rig located in 154 feet of water 60 miles southwest of Grand Isle, Louisiana, is also nearly out, the agency said. What remains is a small flame “fueled by residual gas at the top of the well,” it said.

No one was injured in the fire, which broke out Tuesday. The accident occurred when workers aboard the rig hit an unexpected pocket of gas while preparing the well for production. Forty-four workers were evacuated from the rig without injury, officials said.

Although the rig remained standing, parts of the structure above water had collapsed as a result of the intense heat, officials said.

The BSEE said Wednesday that the only contamination so far had been a light sheen on the ocean that appeared to dissipate quickly. No oil was being released, the BSEE said. The rig’s owner, Hercules Offshore, said Wednesday that it had brought in an environmental expert to keep an eye on wind and ocean conditions to track any possible contamination.

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