Leak reported off Louisiana

U.S Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bill ColcloughAn Energy Resource Technology (ERT) well, located within the Ship Shoal block 225, has been leaking a mixture of gas, salt water, and light condensate to the surface of the Gulf of Mexico since Monday July 8, 2013.

Talos Energy—Houston-based firm that acquired ERT from Helix in February 2013—said in a statement that the B-2 well is an older gas condensate well that was developed in the 1970s, and began leaking during operations to plug and abandon it. The company also said they believe the age of the tubing may have added to the cause of the leak.

Inspectors from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the US Coast Guard flew over the area on July 9, and are monitoring well control and pollution response efforts from Energy Resource Technology’s command center in Houston.

Talos brought in Wild Well Control to assist in stopping the leak. Following a site safety assessment, BSEE engineers approved the source control procedures including pumping drilling mud into the well to stop the flow of natural gas. The wellhead and associated equipment are located approximately 70 feet above the surface of the water, where all platform work is conducted.

Reports from ERT stated that there is currently a light sheen on the water, which appears to be evaporating. The well is flowing mostly water at very low pressure and the company believes that about 3.6 barrels of light condensate is being discharged every 24 hours based upon the size of the sheen. The company projects to have the well plugged within the next 24 hours.  

Talos completed its acquisition of ERT from Helix for US$620 million. The deal included ERT’s assets—including new and old production fields in the Gulf of Mexico where the well is located. The fields averaged 16,155 boe/d in December and are over 70% oil-weighted.


U.S Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bill Colclough

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