The Scoop Deck

Coast Guard responds to natural gas well fire off of Louisiana coast

A natural gas well at the Hercules 265 rig, about 55 miles off the Louisiana coast, had a blowout July 23. The rig caught on fire late Tuesday night. (BSEE)

The Coast Guard is enforcing a safety zone around a drilling rig that is on fire after a natural gas well blowout Tuesday morning about 55 miles off the coast of Louisiana. A good Samaritan vessel rescued 44 people from the rig when the blowout occurred, a Coast Guard spokesman said. No injuries were reported.

Gas escaping from the well at the Hercules 265 rig caught on fire Tuesday night after the initial morning incident, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement reported in its website.

“No one was on board at the time of the ignition and no one was injured,” the BSEE reported.

The Coast Guard buoy tender Cypress and the coastal patrol boat Pompano are “protecting life at sea,” with a 500-meter safety zone around the burning rig, said Public Affairs Specialist 3rd Class Ryan Tippets.

The well is operated by Walter Oil and Gas Corporation.

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