In this image provided by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement shows the Hercules 265 gas well Thursday morning July 25, 2013 after the fire, that caused the derrick to collapse, was abated through natural bridging by sand and sediment that stopped the flow of natural gas from the well below. drilling rig that caught fire after a natural gas blowout in the Gulf of Mexico appears stable now that the fire is out, and there was no sign of any oil sheen on a fly-over Thursday morning, a rig company executive said. (AP Photo/Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Air and water navigation restrictions remain in place around a natural gas well that blew wild and caught fire earlier this week about 55 miles off the Louisiana coast.
The federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement was expected Friday afternoon to announce the status of plans to permanently plug the well. The fire went out after the spewing gas was choked off by sand and sediment.
The cause of the Tuesday morning gas blowout forced 44 workers to evacuate the rig. The cause is under investigation.
The drilling rig caught fire Tuesday night, complicating efforts to bring it under control.
On Thursday, officials said sand and sediment appeared to have cut the gas flow in a process called "bridging over." That sometimes happens to gas wells drilled in relatively shallow waters.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.