Progress has been reported in the Assumption Parish, Louisiana oil well blowout that occurred early last Wednesday morning. According to a report on 2theadvocate.com, plans to set up a rig to drill a relief well and to remove the existing rig at the damaged well are on schedule, and will hopefully stay that way if the weather cooperates.
The blown-out well is located west of Paincourtville in a large sugar-cane tract. Homes and businesses in the area have been evacuated, and a section of Louisiana highway 70 has been closed to traffic. The well, operated by Mantle Oil and Gas LLC of Friendswood, Texas, continues to shoot a 200-foot plume of oil, gas and other material into the air.
Weather has hampered efforts to cap the gusher. But according to 2theadvocate.com, officials believe that the relief well rig will be set up on the site sometime this weekend. The existing rig set up on the blown well will be removed Monday.
Once the relief well is drilled, crews will inject cement through a pipe to seal off the oil. It will take about six weeks for the drilling to be completed.
2theadvocate is also reporting that, once the existing rig is removed, there may be another attempt to stopped the gusher with a controlled burn. That’s been tried on two other occasions, but the efforts were abandoned due to high winds.
Residents continue to report an oily stench around the parish. Since the blowout occurred, residents have reported irritated eyes and noses, headaches and dizziness resulting from the wellâ€™s emissions, and 19 people have been treated for minor health issues related to the blowout, according to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
According to 2theadvocate, contractors with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality continue to monitor air quality in Assumption Parish.