Offshore Incident Update: Air Quality Remains Safe and Repairs Continue
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – Crews continue working to repair the Magellan E&P owned platform located two miles from North Padre Island’s shoreline. Today, engineers shared their evaluations of the rig and remain confident in moving forward and rebuilding the wellhead. Currently, more parts and materials are being located and sourced and a new plan of action for repair is being created.
On Tuesday, crews were finally able to board the platform and view the wellhead up-close and in person. They learned that the damage to the wellhead was more extensive than originally anticipated and they would be unable to immediately replace the valve that was leaking. In addition, they determined that additional elements of the wellhead would need to be repaired before the replacement could be completed.
According to The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), several locations are still being monitored and nearly 50 samples show there is no change in the composition or amount of material leaking from the rig. TCEQ assures residents the air quality, beach and citizens remain safe and no action is needed.
Last week, the US Coast Guard (USCG) received a report of white smoke billowing with a loud sound from an unmanned platform. Since then, the plume, made up of natural gas, naturally occurring condensate and water, has significantly diminished to an estimated 5% of its original size.
Out of an abundance of caution, the USCG has established a Temporary Flight Restriction zone (TFR) for aircraft of any kind including drones that extends one mile around and 500-feet above the platform. In addition, they have identified an 800-meter safety zone around the platform which must not be crossed by any vessel without the permission of the Coast Guard. Due to safety issues, the company is asking the public not to fly any drones over the area. Currently, this TFR will remain in effect for the next two weeks. Beach access from the Bob Hall Pier parking lot is temporarily closed by Nueces County for heavy equipment to conduct debris removal from Hurricane Hanna.
As repairs are made, the City of Corpus Christi, Nueces County, Magellan E&P, USCG, TCEQ, the Texas General Land Office (GLO) and the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) continue to closely supervise all necessary repairs and are working together to ensure that there is a constant emphasis on environmental safety and the safety of residents and visitors of the surrounding communities. City-County beaches on Padre Island are safe and there is no danger to the public.
The City of Corpus Christi will continue providing daily updates to the community. Stay informed with the City’s social channels on Facebook @citygov, Twitter @cityofcc, or visit www.news.cctexas.com.