Amanda McElfresh / The Advertiser
Crews were working on a “well control situation” about two hours off the Gulf Coast and a bit more than 100 miles south of Lafayette. Metairie-based EvVen Energy Ventures was leasing a rig it had leased from Houston-based Rowan Cos. in Vermilion Block 356. Rowan investor relations director Suzanne Spero said that Thursday EnVen “was drilling into 262 feet of water when it drilled into a higher pressure zone than it anticipated.”
Spero said the fluid came rushing up from the well under higher pressure than the workers anticipated. This resulted in a well control situation that prompted Coast Guard petty officer Hunter Sellers said prompted 40 rig workers to board lifeboats. Sellers said the rig did not require Coast Guard assistance.
Spero said that all non-essential personnel have been evacuated from the rig.
“There are EnVen and Rowan workers on the rig right now working to get the well pressure to what it should be,” Spero said. “They are not in danger. If they were in danger, we would take them off the rig immediately.”
A Coast Guard spokesman, Petty Officer Hunter Sellers, said the Coast Guard had investigated and decided the evacuation was not necessary.
Rowan Companies provides global offshore contract drilling services. Its fleet of 30 jack-up rigs operates worldwide, including the Middle East, the North Sea, the Mediterranean, Trinidad, Southeast Asia and the Gulf of Mexico, the company’s website says.
A recording for the public affairs office of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which investigates well control situations, said it was not being staffed late Thursday afternoon.