Natural gas well continues to burn out of control in Gulf

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GULF OF MEXICO – There’s a fire burning out of control at a natural gas well in the Gulf of Mexico, about 42 miles southwest of Grand Isle, Louisiana.

The well blew Tuesday and forced the evacuation of 44 workers who got away safely.

The federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement says a fire broke out several hours later.

Hercules Offshore Inc. of Houston is the owner and operator of the portable jackup rig that was drilling a sidetrack well to connect to the original well.

Walters Oil & Gas of Houston owns the well and was leasing the rig from Hercules.

A Walters spokesman said it looks like something went wrong with the blow-out preventer.

The shear rams of the blowout preventer are a set of valves that are supposed to close and seal off the well, but that apparently did not happen.

Walters has brought in another Houston outfit, Wild Well Control, to figure out a way to put out the fire and bring everything under control.

No one was aboard the drilling platform, which was not producing natural gas when the blow-out occurred.

No word yet on how long it will take wild well to put out the fire,  but people who fish in the area may want to find another spot.