No sheen seen at failed gulf rig

July 31, 2013 at 8:43 AM

NEW ORLEANS, July 31 (UPI) -- U.S. safety regulators said there is no longer any surface contamination seen from the site of last week's natural gas explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said it expects workers to start drilling a relief well Thursday to seal off a faulty well in the Gulf of Mexico.

Water Oil & Gas Corp. notified regulators July 23 they lost control of a natural gas well while preparing it for production. A natural gas plume exploded and, by Wednesday, part of a drilling rig owned by Hercules Offshore had collapsed.

The Coast Guard said it was maintaining a safety zone around the site and firefighting vessels remains on site.

"From visual observation, a sheen is no longer present in the area of the well," the BSEE said Tuesday.

No personnel were injured in the accident. There was no onshore pollution was reported from the incident.

The BSEE said it should take approximately 35 days to drill the relief well. Natural gas stopped flowing naturally last week when sediment entered the original well.

An investigation to determine the cause of the accident is ongoing.

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