Another oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday September 2, around 9:37am. All 13 workers were rescued and taken to a local hospital.†
Although the explosion happened about 200 miles west of the spill site where the first oil rig exploded on April 20, the ruinous explosion 136 days ago by the BP owned Deepwater Horizon has some citizens pretty much still shaken.
“No, I’m not safe, and yes it will happen again,” said Damon Jones, 24, a fifth year philosophy student from Boyton Beach “I feel that the government is not ensuring that corporations like BP and Mariner Energy follow the proper safety guidelines.”
Mariner Energy, Inc, a Houston- based company that owns the platform, said the seven active production wells on the platform were shut down shortly before the fire broke out. Officials do not know what started the flames.
Mariner energy reported to the Coast Guard that the†oil rig was producing neither oil nor gas. However, a Homeland Security update obtained by The Associated Press said the platform was producing 58,800 gallons of oil and 900,000 cubic feet of gas per day.
Interim director of the Florida A&M Environmental Science Institute, Michael Abazinge, suggests that the explosion could have started from a fire caused by oil leaking on the platform.
“I think that the explosion started from a fire, but the oil can be plugged easily because there are safety valves on the platforms that can be shut off to keep the oil from flowing,” Abazinge said.
On Friday, the day after the initial blast, the Coast Guard reported to CNBC that at least a mile-long stretch of oil sheen- a thin layer of oil on the surface of the water- near the rig was spotted. However, it is unclear whether the oil is coming from the rig itself or the well from the first oil rig explosion in April.
Even though President Barack Obama placed a ban on some offshore drilling, Mariner Energy was not affected by the ban, and some environmentalist and citizens are not happy about this authorization.
“I feel that the people responsible for setting laws to keep the people and the environment safe are poorly responding and are reluctant at doing their jobs,” Jones said.
There is a positive side to the Thursday’s incident. The platform is in about 340 feet of water, which is considered shallow water, and is much easier to respond to and clean than the approximately 5,000 feet of water where BP’s well spewed oil and gas for three months.