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Apache Corporation evacuated 15 workers from an exploratory gas drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, just 50 miles east of Venice.

The company is preparing kill the well after tests found natural gas migrating below the seabed. According to company officials, on Feb. 5 the rig avoided a blowout when the well's blowout preventer successfully stopped the gas from making it to the surface.

Apache and the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said so far they have not detected any pollution or gas seeping from the sea floor.

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