Oil Sheen Spotted at Platform Explosion—Or Not

Crew members safe, say they shut down active wells
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2010 3:38 PM CDT
Workers who were rescued from an oil production platform walk away from a rescue helicopter at Terrebonne General Medical Center in Houma, La.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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(Newser) – Confusion reigns in the aftermath of today's oil platform explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. This much good news stands: All 13 crew members were rescued from the water. Everything else is changing quickly. The Coast Guard spoke of a mile-long oil slick at the site but now says it can't find evidence of any oil in the water. Early reports said the platform wasn't producing any oil or gas, but Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal now says it had seven active wells.

The Coast Guard hasn't confirmed reports that crew members were able to shut them down before bailing. The platform, owned by Houston's Mariner Energy, was producing 59,000 gallons of oil and 900,000 cubic feet of gas per day and could store 4,200 gallons of oil, reports the AP, citing federal figures. If there is a spill of some sort, the relatively shallow depth of 340 feet should make cleanup easier. More coverage in the Times-Picayune and USA Today.

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