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Greenhill Petroleum Corporation Well Blowout

Timbalier Bay, LA | 1992-Sep-29

Initial Notification: The rig caught on fire at approximately 1200 CST. The fire initially was burning oil and gas, but the oil fire went out after a short time. Although the fire appears not to be damaging the rig, one person was injured due to burns. Debra Simecek-Beaty, NOAA, overflew over the spill area (H-65) from 1220 to 1320. On scene winds were about 15 knots from the NE. The rig was on fire and a slick extended from the rig to the western end of East Timbalier Island. The slick contained mostly silver and rainbow sheen with a narrow band of dark colored streamers. Burn residue was also observed in the slick. Shoreline impacts on East Timbalier Island extended from the western tip and along the northern shore to the radio tower. No impacts were observed east of the radio tower. Two subsequent overflights mapped the shoreline features in greater detail since there had been more than a dozen breaks in the island due to Huricane Andrew. Winds had increased to greater than 20 knots and a significant sea swell was forming, resulting in 5 -7 foot breakers on the Gulf side of the island. Although visibility had diminished due to the lower sun angle, it appeared that the amount of oiling in the marshes had decreased significantly. Only one small pocket of black pooled oil was observed in contrast to yesterday. The oil did not appear from the overflight to have undergone any significant emulsification. A flight restricted zone with a radius of 5 miles and an altitude of 3000 feet was established around the rig at 1511 for all non- response aircraft. The zone restriction will last for 6 hours. The 36 inch boom that was deployed around the rig was destroyed in the fire. The Coast Guard has deployed two more booms to the west of the rig. The Coast Guard was unable to deploy the Open Water Containment and Recovery System (OWOCRS) because the water is too shallow. USCG district 8. Keyword: blowout, Boots And Coots, wellhead fire, booms, skimmers, rapid evaporation.

Incident Details
Products of concern:South Louisiana crude
Latitude (approximate): 29° 5.00′ North
Longitude (approximate): 90° 18.00′ West