Ship on Way from Galveston to Assist in Natural Gas Rig Repairs

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – There has been more progress today involving an unmanned natural gas rig located two miles from North Padre Island’s shoreline near Bob Hall Pier. The owner of the platform Magellan E&P said the natural gas, water and naturally occurring condensate plume has diminished to only an estimated 5% of what it was originally on Tuesday and the loud hissing noise continues to be nearly eliminated.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) reports a greater number of air monitors set up at key locations throughout the area have not detected any level of hazardous materials in the air. Additionally, the ocean and beaches continue to remain safe. There is no threat to citizens and no action is required by residents.

A ship is on its way to Port Aransas from Galveston to pick up a well control team and equipment to make repairs this weekend. Personnel will use sonar to scan the ocean floor around the platform to make sure it can safely accommodate the vessel, equipment and workers. Once security has been confirmed, equipment will be hoisted onto the rig and the valve repairs will begin. 

The City of Corpus Christi, Nueces County, Magellan E&P, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), TCEQ, the Texas General Land Office (TGLO) and the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) continue to monitor the incident and say the City – County beaches on Padre Island are safe and there remains no danger to the public.

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. Citizens are also reminded 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.

On Tuesday, the Coast Guard responded to a natural gas, condensate and water leak from the unmanned offshore natural gas production platform. No injuries were reported. The cause of the leak will be identified as soon as repair personnel can board the platform – weather and water conditions have prevented access since the start of the incident.

The City of Corpus Christi will continue to provide daily updates to the community. Residents can get the latest information on City social channels at Facebook @citygov, at Twitter cityofcc, or visit www.news.cctexas.com.