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New Oil Rig Explosion at Gulf of Mexico Questions Safety of Offshore Platforms

Written by: on 3rd September 2010 |
New Oil Rig Explosion at Gulf of Mexico Questions Safety of Offshore Platforms  | read this item

New Oil Rig Explosion at Gulf of Mexico Questions Safety of Offshore Platforms – The new explosion of an oil rig platform at the Gulf of Mexico, Thursday bring into question the existing safety standards of offshore oil platforms throughout the United States.

This is the second explosion in the Gulf of Mexico after the long battle with the BP Oil leak since April. More then 206 million gallons of oil spilled over the Gulf of Mexico. This time however the explosion did not cause any oil leak and oil sheen.

The fire occurred on an oil platform owned by Houston-based Mariner Energy. The platform was named the Vermillion Oil Rig 380, was in 2,500 feet of water. Patrick Cassidy of Mariner Energy said that there was no explosion in the platform but a fire occurred.

The crew of the oil rig was seen floating in the water holding hand in hand and wearing life vests. The US coast guard rescued the crew immediately.

Cassidy in a statement also said that the oil platform is still intact and only a portion of it was affected. According to reports the fire began in 100 barrels of light oil condensate.

The second explosion at the Gulf of Mexico in just a year prompted environmental groups and some lawmakers to raise concern on the dangers of offshore drilling. They had urged the Obama administration to extend a temporary ban on deepwater drilling to shallow water, where this platform was located.

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-New Jersey) shows great concern on the incident, “How many accidents are needed and how much environmental and economic damage must we suffer before we act to contain and control the source of the danger: offshore drilling?”

Mike Gravitz, oceans advocate for Environment America, said President Barack Obama “should need no further wake-up call to permanently ban new drilling.”

Meanwhile, BP Oil is expected to begin removing the cap and failed blowout prevented from the Deepwater Horizon ruptured well. This is the next step towards the completion of a relief well that would seal the leak permanently.

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