BP confirmed that the
Thunder Horse semi-submersible platform, located in
Mississippi Canyon Block 778 in the deepwater Gulf of
Mexico, 150 miles southeast of New Orleans, is listing
following the passing of Hurricane Dennis. Early reports
confirmed that the platform is listing an estimated 20 -
30 degrees. The Thunder Horse field is in development and
has not yet begun production of hydrocarbons.
The situation was discovered at approximately 8:30 a.m.
Monday morning by a vessel in the area. The cause is
unknown. The Thunder Horse platform had been evacuated
of all personnel on Friday in anticipation of the
hurricane's approach. At this time there has been no
known release of any fuel or hazardous substances.
BP immediately activated its Incident Command structure,
notified the appropriate regulatory agencies including
the U.S. Minerals Management Service
(MMS) and the U.S.
Coast Guard, and conducted over flights to further assess
the extent of the damage.
At this time BP is mobilizing a number of response
vessels to the Thunder Horse location and working with
the Coast Guard to create a response plan. The first
priority will be to safely board the vessel for a further
assessment of its stability and to begin investigating
potential causes of the issue.
BP and the Coast Guard are collaborating to establish a
Unified Command in Morgan City, Louisiana.