Apache Corporation has been conducting plugging and abandonment operations on East Cameron Block 278 Platform B. The facility is located in water depths of 168 feet approximately 90 miles offshore or 95 miles due south of Cameron, La.
At approximately 10 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 16, Apache workers spotted bubbling on the water's surface near the platform. On Monday, Jan. 17, a light hydrocarbon sheen was noted.
Apache has notified regulatory and other authorities and response teams have been mobilized. Remote-operated (ROV) and spill response vessels are on location. The cause of the release is not yet known. Results from the ROV investigation will help determine the source of the flow.
Gulf of Mexico Operations Update
Jan. 18, 2011 -- Apache Corporation reported today that a subsea survey utilizing a remote-operated vehicle (ROV) in the vicinity of East Cameron block 278 platform B in the Gulf of Mexico is continuing in order to identify the source of a water disturbance identified on Sunday, Jan 16. No sheen or other evidence of hydrocarbons were visible today.
Results of the ROV survey will determine the next steps in responding to the water disturbance.
Wells on the platform had not been in production for several years. Apache had initiated plugging and abandonment (P&A) operations activities when the water disturbance was sighted on Jan. 16. Prior to shutting in the platform for P&A operations, the platform was processing approximately 20 million cubic feet of natural gas per day from other facilities.
Apache has notified regulatory authorities and is coordinating its response activities with them.