Apache gives update on near-blowout

March 1, 2013 at 7:45 AM

HOUSTON, March 1 (UPI) -- Well-control operations used to prevent a February blowout at a well in the Gulf of Mexico have been completed successfully, Apache Corp. said.

Apache reported an "abnormally pressured gas zone" Feb. 5 during drilling operations in the shallow-water Main Pass 295 in the Gulf of Mexico.

"The well was shut in and the blowout preventers are functioning properly," a company statement read.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement confirmed that Apache prevented the blowout. BSEE said Apache was drilling in 218 feet of water when the incident occurred.

Apache said well control operations at Main Pass 295 were completed successfully.

"The bottom of the well has been plugged and cemented and the migration of natural gas to another sand formation has been stopped," the company said. "No injuries or negative impact to the environment were associated with this incident."

A deep-water blowout in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 sunk the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. Eleven workers died in the accident, which led to one of the worst offshore oil spills in history.

Apache said it was reviewing the next steps to take for Main Pass.

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