Setback in Rig Repairs

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX - The company handling repairs at the oil platform involved in an offshore incident last week on North Padre Island near Bob Hall Pier says the fix will take longer than anticipated.

Upon a closer, on-site evaluation of the wellhead, it was determined that it had experienced greater damage than originally anticipated. As a result, the company was unable to replace the valve that was leaking, and additional equipment is being mobilized to address the full repair requirements necessary to return the rig to normal operation. The inspection also revealed the cause of the release was a failed seal on the wellhead.

Crews were unable to replace the valve that was leaking, and additional elements of the wellhead will need to be repaired before the replacement can be completed. The company is hopeful a definitive estimation of the repair schedule can be determined as soon as they locate the necessary equipment and materials needed to complete the repairs.

Last week, the US Coast Guard (USCG) received a report of white smoke billowing with a loud sound from an unmanned platform. The white plume consisted of natural gas, naturally occurring condensate and water. Since then, the plume has significantly diminished to an estimated 5% of its original size.

According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), there has been no change in the composition or amount of material leaking from the rig, and assures residents the air quality, beach and citizens remain safe and no action is needed. Aggressive air quality monitoring will continue.

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.

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 overlooking the incident and say the City - County beaches on Padre Island are safe and there is no danger to the public. As repairs are made, all these public and private entities will continue to work together to ensure that there is a constant emphasis on environmental safety and the safety of residents and visitors of the surrounding communities.

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.