Natural gas is no longer escaping from a blown-out oil rig off the Louisiana coast. Only a small flame is burning off residual gas in the pipeline.
Federal officials say the leak was plugged by sand and sediment that flowed into the broken line. No oil has been seen around the rig that’s in about 150 feet of water 55 miles off the Louisiana coast.
Forty-four workers were safely evacuated Tuesday before the rig owned by Hercules Offshore caught fire. The crew had been preparing the rig for production. Intense heat from the fire that erupted hours later caused some of the structure above the water to collapse.
The Coast Guard will continue monitoring response efforts. It’s not been determined yet how the well will ultimately be plugged.