Fire on oil rig in Gulf of Mexico
Friday, Nov 16, 2012
Coast Guard officials say they are investigating a fire at an oil drilling platform off the coast of Louisiana.
Black Elk Energy's President and CEO John Hoffman confirmed on Friday a rig that exploded off the coast of Louisiana earlier in the day belongs to the Houston-based company, according to Houston Business Journal.
Hoffman said a construction crew was finishing work on a water skimmer when it appears that the wrong line was cut, which resulted in the explosion and fire. A water skimmer is a device that separates water from oil.
A parish officials says the rig is not drilling at a deepwater site like the Macondo well that blew out in 2010, according to ABC News.
That blowout led to an explosion that killed 11 workers and led to the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts tells WWL-TV that the platform is a shallow water platform in the Gulf of Mexico. It is near West Cote Blanche Bay, south of New Iberia on the south-central Louisiana coast.
Two people missing
The U.S. Coast Guard tells KATC two helicopters and an airplane are searching for two people who are missing.
According to Petty Officer Third Class Jonathan Lally, the two workers may have went overboard. Four people were airlifted off the platform.
The platform is in the area known as West Delta 32 and is about 25 miles Southeast of Grand Isle. Black Elk Energy owns the platform.
The Coast Guard says it has activated a command center to investigate the fire.