The K.S. Endeavor jackup drill rig operated for Chevron in shallow water about 5 miles off the coast of the Niger Delta is continuing to burn. This blowout probably won't be under control until a relief well can be drilled. Chevron confirms the rig had been drilling a gas exploration well they call the Funiwa Deep-A, with a planned depth of 16,500 feet. But the well had only reached a depth of 12,945' when the blowout occurred early Monday morning. That's comparable to the depth of BP's Macondo well that blew out in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, launching what would become the world's worst accidental oil spill.
The Funiwa field
has both oil and gas reservoirs. A big question on everyone's mind:
Could this lead to a major oil spill? Is there a lot of oil already
coming out of the well right now, fueling this blowtorch of a fire? Some have reported sighting slicks and sheen in the vicinity.
imagery gives us some reason for optimism so far. This Envisat ASAR
radar satellite image taken today shows only a very small slick around
what we infer to be the location of the burning Endeavor, based
on multiple observations of the fire itself on MODIS 7-2-1 satellite
images and the bright spots on the radar image that indicate big hunks
of metal out in the water (rigs, vessels, platforms):