A fire occurred on a production platform owned by Mariner Energy located in Vermillion Bay Block 380, approximately 102 miles off the coast of Louisiana. The production platform was producing oil and gas at or near the time of the fire. While the facts are still emerging, a few significant facts are known:
• The incident occurred on a production platform, not a drilling rig or a so-called “oil rig.”
• The incident was not related to drilling operations. Production platforms produce oil or gas – essentially act as pumping stations moving oil and gas from its source to a pipeline for transportation. Production platforms can produce oil and gas from wells that were drilled years – or even decades – in the past.
• Production platforms do not have blowout preventers like drilling rigs since production platforms are not engaged in offshore drilling.
Production platforms have shut-in and safety valves, which were activated.
(Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition, Frank Maisano)