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Hercules 265

Hercules Rig 265, for Walter Oil and Gas, Inc. off Grand Isle, Louisiana; 2013. This is a pretty well known blowout so I won't go into all the gory details. The well kicked during completion work, zinc bromide completion fluid was not sufficient to balance BHP, it got away from them and that's that. Nobody got hurt, is the good thing, and I don't think it made that big a mess. It got a lot of attention because of the Macondo incident just three years prior and Walter was roasted.

This is my favorite photograph of this blowout. Downwind you can see shit being blown out of the well and falling into the sea. This is all most likely formation shale, rocks, and chunks of cement. I've seen some unbelievable stuff get blown out of wells; I was under a well one time that rained pea gravel for an hour. It was awesome, like a big 'ol hail storm. And I'll post someday soon about a well that blew slabs of dirt the size of pickup trucks around the outside of the surface casing, as high up as the racking board on the derrick. That too was pretty freaking awesome, until it caught fire with us standing at the end of the cat walk. I even heard some really cool stories of fish getting hurled up thru the rotary table...

The Walter well caught fire and burned for two days...

And eventually bridged itself off. A bottom kill was implemented via a relief well.

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