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The fire on a Gulf of Mexico platform off the Louisiana coast has been put out and no pollution has been detected, the U.S. Coast Guard said, as quoted by media.
The platform is the property of Renaissance offshore LLC, which has now suspended production on it and also on a second platform in the area, the company said in a statement, adding that the 17 wells from which the two platforms pumped crude have been shut in and all workers evacuated.
Both Renaissance Offshore and government agencies said that no oil leakage had been detected either from the platform or the wells underneath it.
The platform, located about 80 miles south of Grand Isle, caught fire in the early morning yesterday, which led to the evacuation of the crew of four that was onboard the facility.
The crew, Renaissance’s statement said, tried to put out the fire themselves but after it became clear their efforts would not be sufficient, they were evacuated by a supply vessel, the Mary Wyatt Milano, which then, together with another three vessels, fought the fire.
All platform operators in the Gulf of Mexico are extremely sensitive to any such incidents, after the place became the scene of the worst environmental catastrophe in the history of U.S. oil in 2010, when a fire took down the Deepwater Horizon, operated by BP, and led to the spilling of millions of gallons of crude, affecting ecosystems and the local economy alike.
The disaster cost the oil major upwards of US$62 billion in fines and settlements and prompted environmental authorities in the U.S. to draft new regulation, tightening the rules of conduct for platform operators.
When the draft was first released, last summer, it caused an outcry among oil producers, who protested that it would increase their production costs in a way and to an extent that is unjustified.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.