Just two weeks ago, I wrote about an offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico was spilling fossil fuels into the Gulf of Mexico. The operators of the platform had lost control of their own equipment, and had simply abandoned ship. The spill was going on and on, without any restraint.
This week, another offshore drilling blowout has taken place in the Gulf of Mexico. This time, an offshore drilling platform that pumps out natural gas has caught on fire. The crew, as with this month’s previous accident, has completely lost control, allowing the fire to spread. Unlike the earlier accident, the loss of control isn’t due to an evacuation. It happened because the drilling rig was left unmanned – there wasn’t anyone at all on the platform at the time the fire began.
The out-of-control flames have grown so hot that the offshore drilling platform has now begun to collapse. Will the entire thing explode and go down in flames as the Deepwater Horizon did? If it does, the oil industry can take some relief in knowing that the methane that the disaster will release will be invisible to cameras, and thus of no concern to the American public – even though methane is many times more powerful a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
The name of the failed offshore drilling rig is Hercules 265. What an ironic name – Hercules as well was infamous for violently explosions due to his inability to deal with internal pressures.