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Natural Gas Leak Continues in Gulf, Plug Plan Gets Green Light (PHOTOS)
Cews were given the go-ahead to move forward with operations that will stop a natural gas leak in the Gulf, according to a federal regulator. The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement approved a plan submitted by Talos Energy to plug a natural gas well in the Gulf of Mexico that has been leaking for three days, according to a spokesperson for the . Click through for photos from the scene:
Crews were expected to begin procedures that will include pumping drilling fluid into the well on Thursday, Angelico said. A Talos Energy spokesman said Wednesday that the process to seal off the well would go "pretty quick" once the approval from the Bureau came through.
The well, which crews were working to shut-in as a result of 15 years of inactivity, began leaking after a "loss of well control" event at 9:45 a.m. on Monday, July 8, according to the Bureau. The U.S. Coast Guard issued a press release on the situation on Tuesday.
Five workers were evacuated from the platform immediately following the leak, and no injuries were reported.
The well is in water about 146 ft. deep, and the leak is roughly 70 ft. above the surface of the water, according to the Bureau.
The leak has produced a 4 mile X 3/4 mile sheen around the well, which is located about 70 miles southwest of Port Fourchon. Officials say the natural gas condensate that has spread around the well is confined to the surface.
"There's lots of rainbow sheen," said Bonny Schumacker of the wildlife preservation nonprofit On Wings of Care, who flew over the site on Wednesday.
Very little marine life was viewable in the area, Schumaker said, which is a trend that has been present since the BP oil disaster in 2010.
According to federal estimates from the Coast Guard, about 3.6 barrels of natural gas condensate is being discharged every 24 hours. That brings the total leak so far to a total of 10.8 barrels, according to federal officials.
A Bureau statement released Wednesday night said the sheen "appears to be evaporating."
Here are several pictures from Schumaker's flyover, taken by Bill Dugger with On Wings of Care:
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