Three workers ended up evacuated Wednesday morning when an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico caught fire in Barataria Bay after an inspection on a heater-treater valve cover blew out, sparking a fire, Coast Guard officials said.
Two of the workers suffered minor injuries as they evacuated the platform, located in 120 feet of water about 29 miles south of Terrebonne Parrish, LA’s Dernieres Barrier Island Refuge, said Petty Officer Jonathan Lally.
The fire produced a spill in an area 600 yards long by half-a-mile wide, officials said. They noted the sheen was dissipating by early afternoon.
W&T Offshore, the platform owner, is “an independent oil and natural gas acquisition, exploitation and exploration company with a focus primarily in the Gulf of Mexico.”
W&T Offshore’s Janet Yang said the accident occurred on an oil-processing platform, not a drilling rig.
Yang said she did not believe an active well was located at the site.
Lally said they got a report of the fire at 10:20 a.m. Five contracted response vessels spraying water on the platform had it extinguished by 2 p.m.
The U.S. Coast Guard is among those investigating the incident.