July 24 News: Offshore Natural Gas Rig Ablaze After Blowout In Gulf Of Mexico


A natural gas blowout aboard an offshore rig in the Gulf of Mexico caused a fire and forced the evacuation of 44 workers. [NBC News]

A fire erupted on a drilling rig off the Louisiana coast that was surrounded by a “major cloud of gas” after it experienced a blowout, officials said late Tuesday.

The blaze began about 10:50 p.m. local time (11:50 p.m. ET) on the Hercules 265 natural gas platform, which is located around 55 miles off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico.

Eileen Angelico, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, said no one was on board when the fire started. The cause of the blaze was unknown early Wednesday.

She added that personnel from Wild Well Inc had been brought in to try and get the well under control, but when they’d approached the blaze Tuesday night they’d determined it was unsafe to get any closer when they were 200ft away from it. …

Earlier on Tuesday, 44 workers were evacuated on two lifeboats after the gas began spewing to the surface. None of them were injured, NBC station WDSU reported.

Coal CEO Robert Murray attacked President Obama’s “campaign to place ‘climate change’ controls on so-called ‘greenhouse gas’ emissions from electric power plants” in a speech to a group including Speaker John Boehner and 10 other members of the Ohio congressional delegation. [Wheeling News-Register]

The world’s largest public financial institution, the European Investment Bank, said it would stop funding coal plants in an effort to slash carbon emissions. [Business Green]

A federal appeals court ruled that an ozone standard for public health was fine as-is, meaning that the Obama administration’s eventual decision to not strengthen it was confirmed on legal grounds. [AP, E&E News]

French oil company Total SA wants to drill off the coast of Sri Lanka. [Bloomberg]

House amendments attempt to limit economic cost of using social cost of carbon tool that would measure carbon-intensive regulations’ economic costs. [The Hill]

As evidence mounts that heavy industrial pollution is taking a toll on its citizens’ health, China is rethinking how it manages its economy. [Wall Street Journal]

The study on fracking’s effects on Wyoming’s water supply that the EPA backed out of last month will now be funded by the very drilling company whose fracking may have caused the water contamination. [ProPublica]

Hamburg, Germany is building a coal-fired power plant, an odd move for a green city in a country aggressively trying to transition to renewable energy. [InsideClimate News]

Louisiana is suing dozens of energy companies, including BP and Exxon Mobil, for decades of damage done to coastal wetlands. [New York Times]

The North Pole, after weeks of higher-than-average temperatures, is now a foot-deep lake. [Live Science]

Climate change is causing the Maine lobster population to spike, but with strained food resources, the lobsters are turning to eating one another. [Mother Jones]

Melting sea ice has caused Arctic shipping to quadruple in the past four years. [Slate]

The U.K. can expect more extreme flooding as climate warms, due to “atmospheric rivers” that carry vast amounts of water vapor, scientists say. [Guardian]

Five million years ago, global warming caused a massive East Antarctic ice sheet to melt and sea levels to rise by about 70 feet. [National Geographic]

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to blame fossil fuels for the bust of the Spanish feed-in tariff system? Turns out you can — Spain had already placed a ceiling on energy prices before renewables started growing as fast as they did, so rising fossil fuel energy prices seem to be what caused the “energy deficit.” [Renewables International]

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley wants to strengthen his state’s renewable energy standard by 5 percent — 25 renewables statewide in 7 years. [Washington Post]

21 Responses to July 24 News: Offshore Natural Gas Rig Ablaze After Blowout In Gulf Of Mexico

  1. catman306 says:

    The NBC headline makes it sound like a done deal:

    Silver lining? Greenhouse gas could be vast, untapped source of energy

  2. BobbyL says:

    “Stable” Antarctic Permafrost Melting Faster than Expected, Researchers Say
    “Researchers said that the melting rate of the coastal Antarctic permafrost is now similar to the melt rate of permafrost at Arctic.”

  3. prokaryotes says:

    It’s not clear to me why nuclear would be required if we could use renewables instead (Germany demonstrates the feasibility). And R&D of thorium would mean decades of research and a lot of money which could go into renewables….

  4. prokaryotes says:

    Climate change slowdown is due to warming of deep oceans, say scientists

    Climate sceptics have seized on a pause in warming over the past five years, but the long-term trend is still upwards

  5. prokaryotes says:

    “The melting is largely due to the increased amount of Sun’s rays that’s hitting the region. The increased radiation is due to changes in weather patterns, they said.”

    More Antarctica news

    Potential methane reservoirs beneath Antarctica

    Hidden rift valley discovered beneath West Antarctica reveals new insight into ice loss

    Central West Antarctica among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth

    “Potential methane reservoirs beneath Antarctica”

  6. prokaryotes says:

    I like to know more about this weather change… Antarctic amplification??!

  7. prokaryotes says:

    This has been posted today by Andy Revkin.

  8. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Sounds promising, but is it the first industrial process that produces no pollution of its own? We are getting near the situation where a miracle is certainly required, if it is not already too late.

  9. Colorado Bob says:

    SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City is in the midst of a scorching summer already among the hottest in history.

    The city has registered 16 days of triple digit temperatures this year, the latest coming Tuesday when the temperature gauge nudged up to 100 degrees.

    That’s already the fifth-most on record for the northern Utah region that has historically averaged a mere five 100-degree days a year. With a month more of searing heat left, the summer of 2013 could climb up the list.

    The record for triple-digit days is 21, set in 1960 and again in 1994. There have been two summers with 17 days of 100-plus temperatures, in 2003 and 2007.

    That means three of the five hottest summers have come in the past decade and four of the five in the past 20 years.

    It’s the kind of trend that goes beyond normal weather fluctuations and bolsters research suggesting there is global warming, said David S. Chapman, a University of Utah professor emeritus of geology and geophysics who has studied global warming for 20 years.

    “We are now approaching things that one would definitely consider to be climate change,” said Chapman.

  10. Colorado Bob says:

    While the recent heat wave did not set many record high temperatures, records have fallen based on the duration of heat.

    This summer has been responsible for some rather uncomfortable sleeping weather. Many nights have been warm and muggy in the Northeast.

    In Philadelphia, temperatures have not dropped below 70 degrees since June 23. This 30-day stretch is the longest string of days at or above 70-degrees since records have been kept in 1872. The old record was 26 consecutive days at or above 70 degrees set during the summer of 1876 and more recently in 1995.

  11. Merrelyn Emery says:

    What is it with these geologists? Perhaps they adjust their thinking process to the rate at which rocks change? ME

  12. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Say. No. More!

  13. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    This is quite advanced thinking for the fossils of the geology fraternity. Their links to mining and fossil fuel extraction in particular, are, naturally, totally irrelevant.