A production platform has exploded in the Gulf, in shallow water west of the BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig that blew up in April. Today’s explosion occured at about 9:30 AM CT. All thirteen people on the platform have reportedly been rescued. Details remain sketchy and it is unclear if there is any oil leaking at the site. The platform is owned by Texas based Mariner Energy.
Mariner said the cause of the explosion and fire had not been determined. The company’s statement said production recently averaged about 9.2 million cubic feet of natural gas a day and 1,400 barrels of oil and condensate.
The explosion comes one day after a federal judge issued an unfavorable ruling on the Obama administration’s moratorium on deep water drilling. Also today, three Greenpeace protesters were arrested after occupying a drilling rig for two days in Baffin Bay, Greenland.
This second explosion coming so soon after the BP explosion is sure to raise further questions about the safety and wisdom of off-shore drilling. It plays into the hands of the Obama administration that desperately wants to focus on alternative energy sources and pass cap and trade legislation. These events may well all be unrelated but considering the industry’s good safety record, to have two off-shore accidents in a little over four months is troubling.