紐奧良外海鑽油平台爆炸失火 11名工人下落不明 | 台灣環境資訊協會-環境資訊中心

紐奧良外海鑽油平台爆炸失火 11名工人下落不明

2010年04月23日
摘譯自2010年4月21日ENS美國,路易斯安那州,紐奧良報導;段譽豪編譯;蔡麗伶審校

美國路易斯安那州威尼斯鎮東南方41英里的一個離岸鑽油平台,在20日深夜發生爆炸起火,至21日止仍有11人下落不明。

爆炸產生的火柱直衝夜空。當地時間晚上10點在深水半潛式鑽油平台「深水海平面」上首次發出報告。鑽油平台仍在燃燒中,平台上有超過1百萬加侖的2號燃料油與船用柴油。

美國海岸防衛隊以及聯邦礦業管理局正在調查爆炸的原因。海岸防衛隊在一份聲明中說:「初步跡象顯示,這不是一起恐怖攻擊事件」。

意外發生當時約有126人在平台上,有些人搭救生艇離開,但據報有些工作人員為逃避平台的大火,而從距離海平面高達75至100英尺的平台跳海逃生。

幾架海岸防衛隊的直升機、飛機與小艇與正持續搜索與救援行動,在現場尋找失蹤的11名工作人員。海岸防衛隊發言人說,當地海況良好,對救援與搜索行動很有幫助。

「深水海平面」是由越洋公司(Transocean Ltd.)所有,這家瑞士公司是世界上最大的海洋鑽井承包商。失火的鑽井是由英國石油探勘與生產公司(BP Exploration & Production, Inc)所租用的。

越洋公司21日在一份聲明中說,該公司的緊急與家庭反應小組正與美國海岸防衛隊以及英國石油公司合作,盡力照顧平台上所有的工作人員並且搜尋失蹤的人員。

英國石油集團執行長海沃德(Tony Hayward)說:「我們十分關注的鑽油平台工作人員及其家屬的感受,我們也會盡力專注提供一切可能的幫助,以處理此一事件的各樣後續問題。」

英國石油墨西哥灣探勘副總裁雷尼(David Rainey)21日在記者會上表示,當地「現在有輕微的汙染」,但他是說「當地有潛在的污染事件」。

雷尼說,包括全世界最大型的漏油處理船在內,有七艘主要的漏油處裡船隻已在現場或是在前往現場的途中。

越洋公司的品質安全健康暨環境部門副總裁羅斯(Adrian Rose)告訴記者說,目前正以噴水方式滅火,公司也正計劃派遣遙控機器人到平台底部,以從源頭撲滅火勢。

羅斯告訴記者說,此鑽油平台總深度約18000英呎,火災事件之後油井便已被封閉了。

他說,鑽頭現已退出油井,現在正以水泥作為栓塞,來堵塞由海底對鑽油機產生的不正常壓力。

「我們目前假設發生了井噴的狀況,但還不能確定,」羅斯說,「我們尚未詳細調查事發原因。」

內政部副部長海斯(David Hayes)告訴記者,「到時候,我們將進行調查。礦業管理局與美國海岸衛隊間有一長期備忘協議,規定了這樣的調查所應遵循的程序。」

Eleven Missing After Gulf Drilling Rig Explodes, Burns
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana, April 21, 2010 (ENS)

Eleven people are still missing after an explosion and fire late Tuesday night aboard a mobile offshore oil drilling rig about 41 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana.

The explosion sent a pillar of flame into the night sky. It was first reported at 10 pm local time on the deepwater semisubmersible drilling platform Deepwater Horizon. The oil rig is still burning with over a million gallons of #2 fuel oil or marine diesel fuel reported onboard.

The cause of the explosion is under investigation by the federal Mineral Management Service and the U.S. Coast Guard. "Initial indications show that this was not a terrorist incident," the Coast Guard said in a statement.

The estimated 126 people who were on board now are off the rig. Some evacuated by means of lifeboats, but some crewmembers reportedly jumped into the water to escape as the rig burst into flames, jumping from a height of 75 to 100 feet.

Search and rescue operations are continuing with multiple Coast Guard helicopters, planes, and cutters at the scene looking for the 11 missing crewmembers. There is minimal sheening and conditions are good for search and rescue, said a Coast Guard spokesperson.

The Deepwater Horizon is owned by Transocean Ltd., a Swiss company that is the world's largest offshore drilling contractor. The rig is leased by BP Exploration & Production, Inc.

Transocean's Emergency and Family Response Teams are working with the U.S. Coast Guard and BP Exploration & Production to care for all rig personnel and search for the missing crewmembers, the company said in a statement today.

BP Group Chief Executive Tony Hayward said, "Our concern and thoughts are with the rig personnel and their families. We are also very focused on providing every possible assistance in the effort to deal with the consequences of the incident."

David Rainey, BP's vice president of Gulf of Mexico Exploration, told a news conference today that there is "minor pollution now" but he said "there is potential for a pollution event."

Rainey said that seven major oil response vessels now are en route or on site, including the largest oil spill response vessel in the world.

Transocean Vice President for Quality, Health, Safety and Environment Adrian Rose told reporters that water is now being sprayed onto the fire and the company plans to deploy a remote operated vehicle down within the rig to stem the source of the blaze.

Rose told reporters that workers had drilled this well to its total depth of about 18,000 feet and the well was being closed when the incident occurred.

He said the drill bit had been pulled out and cement was being installed to plug the riser that goes from the sea bottom to the rig when an abnormal pressure buildup occurred in the riser.

"We are assuming that this is a blow-out, but we don't know yet," said Rose. We haven't investigated exactly the cause yet."

Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes told reporters, "When the time comes, we will undertake an investigation. The Minerals Management Service has an ongoing memo of agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard that lays out the procedures to be followed in such an investigation."