The offshore oil platform Vermillion 380 blew up Thursday morning in the Gulf of Mexico, catching on fire and forcing 13 workers into the water. All of the workers have been rescued and the fire has been contained but is not yet out, according to U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Elisabeth Bordelon.
The rig’s owner, Mariner Energy, has dispatched three fire-fighting vessels to the site.
The Vermillion 380 is a fixed, manned production platform, not a drilling rig. A Mariner Energy official told reporters that the platform was not producing any oil or gas at the time of the explosion and that all wells related to the platform are shut.
Mariner Energy has reported a sheen of about one nautical mile by 100 feet to the Coast Guard, Bordelon said. It is not known if there has been any further oil leakage related to the explosion.
The rig, in approximately 340 feet of water, is located about 80 nautical miles off the Louisiana coast. It is west of the site of the BP Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded in April, killing 11 people and causing a disastrous, months-long oil leak, the worst in U.S. history.
-- Contact Janet Nodar at email@example.com.