Oil Spill, Tank Fire at Platform in Louisiana

Tank
Image courtesy USCG Eighth District

By MarEx 2016-03-16 12:24:48

Authorities are responding to a fire on a defunct oil production platform near Bayou Sorrel, Louisiana. The U.S. Coast Guard, state and local agencies, salvage firms and spill response contractors are on site and monitoring the blaze.

A crude oil tank on the platform caught fire on Tuesday morning; as of Tuesday evening, two tanks were on fire, the USCG said. Two workers were on the platform at the time of the incident, but were apparently uninjured. One of the tanks has partially collapsed, local media reports, spilling an unknown volume of oil into the water; the Coast Guard reports that the tanks contain in the range of 33,000 gallons of crude (about 800 barrels).

The platform was in the process of being dismantled. The demolition contractor has been reported by media as C&R Contractors of Morgan City, Louisiana, a provider of oil infrastructure construction and decommissioning. The name of the platform's operator has not been officially released.

Response crews have deployed approximately 300 yards of containment boom across the canal entrance nearest the platform to prevent the spread of the spill. Local media report that responders intend to allow the fire to burn out before taking further measures on the platform itself.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.