Photos: Major Natural Gas Leak at Platform Off Corpus Christi

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On Tuesday, a major natural gas leak was spotted at an oil platform just off the coast of Corpus Christi, Texas.

Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi received a report of white smoke billowing from a Magellan E&P-owned platform about three miles off Corpus Christi’s Bob Hall Pier. The cloud was accompanied by a “loud and consistent jet engine-like sound,” the Coast Guard said. 

An Air Station Corpus Christi MH-65 helicopter crew conducted an overflight assessment of the platform with Coast Guard and Texas General Land Office (TGLO) officials aboard. Images taken during the overflight show a large horizontal plume of gas spewing dozens of yards from the platform. 

Image courtesy USCG

Sector Corpus Christi has issued a safety zone around the platform with a 1,000-foot perimeter. A pollution response team and TGLO responders are stationed onshore near Bob Hall Pier to monitor for potential water pollution. Magellan E&P has contracted with Witt O’Brien’s for response management and coordination.

The facility is an unmanned production platform that handles natural gas, condensate and water. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has reported almost no traces of methane at Bob Hall Pier, and it continues air monitoring in the vicinity. The Texas Railroad Commission is also on scene and will oversee the response to the natural gas release and the repairs to the platform.

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