Drilling suspended after waves strike rig

HOUSTON — Drilling remains suspended Wednesday on a Gulf of Mexico rig that had been rocked by weather-driven waves as officials assess the need for repairs, according to an Anadarko Petroleum Corp. spokesman.

No crew members were injured or evacuated and there was no spill when the cold front that blew through Houston Monday hit the Ensco 8506 deep-water drilling rig about 3:15 a.m. Tuesday,  Anadarko spokesman John Christiansen said. The rig was working on an Anadarko project.

“The rig is stable, the well is secure and evaluations are under way,” he said in an interview with FuelFix.

U.S. Coast Guard petty officer Manda Emery said Wednesday that crews for London-based Ensco, the drilling rig owner, will inspect the semi-submersible rig, which is about 130 miles from Galveston.

The rig was knocked 55 feet and took on water when it was struck by the wave Tuesday. U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Manda Emery said  one of three watertight chambers in one of the rig’s six flotation columns began taking on water, but that the facility was being kept level,  the Associated Press reported.

Emery said 116 crew members were aboard the rig about 130 miles from Galveston. Waters there are about 3,000 feet deep.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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