A lawsuit filed this week against dozens of companies in the oil industry has already gotten stiff political opposition. A Loyola University law professor sees a major legal battle erupting ahead for the levee board suing for wetlands repairs.

A natural gas well explosion in the Gulf of Mexico is reviving concerns about drilling safety, three years after the Deepwater Horizon explosion led to the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

Forty-four crew members were evacuated Tuesday morning after the well blew out in shallow water, some 55 miles off the coast of Louisiana.

While the cause of the blowout is still under investigation, a key safety measure failed on the rig.

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.

A New Orleans-area levee district is suing 97 oil industry companies for damaging wetlands that protect the city from hurricanes. The district is seeking repairs that could cost several billion dollars.

Teams of workers are mobilizing in the Gulf of Mexico to try to stem a natural gas leak at an offshore drilling rig that exploded and caught fire Tuesday. The rig off the Louisiana coast has been partially destroyed by the out of control blaze, and firefighting boats are on the scene.

A natural gas well off the coast of Louisiana was on fire Wednesday, one day after a blowout forced 44 workers to evacuate. There were no injuries reported.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement says the mishap at Well A-3 below a "Hercules 265 jack-up rig," about 55 miles off the Louisiana coast, was first reported around 9:45 a.m. ET Tuesday.

Natural Gas Well Leaking In Gulf

Jul 9, 2013

The Coast Guard says natural gas is leaking from a well at a production platform in the Gulf of Mexico 74 miles southwest of Port Fourchon, La.

Chief Petty Officer Bobby Nash says the well is not spewing, but a rainbow sheen four miles wide and three-quarters of a mile long was spotted in an aerial survey Tuesday.

The platform owner was identified as Energy Resources Technology Gulf of Mexico LLC. The company could not immediately be reached for comment.

As you may remember, an explosion on an oil rig about 20 miles off the coast of Louisiana killed three Filipino nationals and injured a handful of others in November. The incident put Filipino guest worker programs under intense scrutiny by the local media and advocacy groups.

NBC33-TV, via WWL-TV

The sight of smoke billowing over three separate explosions in south Louisiana within a week may have caused some concern about air quality. Officials are confident that there was no health danger. Others aren’t so sure.

Thursday’s chemical plant explosion in Geismar, La. has claimed another life. Seven remained hospitalized Friday with burns and respiratory complications.

Williams Companies CEO Alan Armstrong visited with workers and their families Friday. He called the incident a “major” explosion.

“This is a terrible and unprecedented tragedy," Armstrong said. "I’ve talked with a few of our employees and I know they are hurting, however, I’ve also seen and been inspired by their courage.”