Lightning Strike Halts BP's Oil Capture

Company hopes to resume today after ship fire
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 15, 2010 2:08 PM CDT
Gas is flared off on the Discovery Enterprise drilling ship collecting in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, June 9, 2010.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

(Newser) – A bolt of lightning struck the ship capturing oil from the BP well in the Gulf of Mexico today, igniting a fire that has halted containment efforts. The fire was quickly extinguished, and BP said it hopes to resume containing oil from the well sometime this afternoon. No one was injured. The fire occurred on the Discoverer Enterprise, where engineers are siphoning about 630,000 gallons of oil a day through a cap on top of the well.

"At the moment, there's no capture, no containment going on, but we'll start up the Enterprise when it's safe to do so," BP spokesman Robert Wine said. The company will use robotic submarines to survey the entire containment system, including the cap over the well, for possible damage from the fire. The fire occurred in a vent pipe leading from a tank on the Enterprise where processed oil is stored.

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