Relief well spud at South Timbalier 220

Drilling on a relief well at South Timbalier 220 in the US Gulf of Mexico began Sunday, August 4, using the Rowan EXL-3 jack-up rig, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) announced.

On July 23, Walter Oil and Gas Corp. experienced a loss of well control at its Well A-3, 55 miles offshore Louisiana. Leaking natural gas ignited a fire that spread to the Hercules 265 jackup rig, owned by Hercules Offshore. All 44 people onboard were able to evacuate. Walter had been carrying out completion work on the sidetrack well in preparation for production at the time of the leak and subsequent fire.

Drilling on the relief well is expected to continue for approximately 35 days. Walter Oil and Gas have submitted procedures for well intervention work to BSEE for review and approval.

BSEE also announced that a sheen is no longer present in the area of the well; however, the US Coast Guard continues to maintain a 500m safety zone around the site. Firefighting and other marine vessels remain onsite with personnel from Walter, Hercules, and other professional engineering contractors, and relevant federal agencies. BSEE and the Coast Guard continue to investigate the cause of the loss of well control.

View our previous coverage on this incident here.

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