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US rig, Hercules 265, collapses over structure

Hercules 265 224 July 2013, News Wires – A portion of the Hercules 265 (250’ MC) jackup has collapsed after catching fire Tuesday night, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, BSEE, said.

“Two firefighting vessels were in the area and re-located a safe distance from the fire. A third vessel equipped with fire-fighting capability and improved monitoring system is enroute and expected to arrive late morning. The 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Pomano is standing by to assess the situation and enforce the security zone. The Coast Guard Cutter Cypress is enroute and will arrive at approximately noon,” the BSEE said in a press statement.

The fire started around 10:50 p.m. Tuesday evening, when natural gas leaking from the A-3 natural gas well at South Timbalier Block 220 ignited off the coast of Louisiana. The fire then spread to the Hercules jackup.

As the fire continued to burn, the beams supporting the derrick and the rig floor folded and collapsed over the rig structure.

BSEE said that under its direction, Walter Oil & Gas, owner of the well, has begun moving a jackup to the location if a decision is made to drill a relief well.

The chain of events began when a blowout and a loss of well control occurred Tuesday while work was being done for well A-3 in 154 feet of water off the coast of Louisiana. Forty-four personnel were safely evacuated from the Hercules 265 jackup, and there were no injuries, a Hercules spokesperson told Rigzone.

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