Here’s a map showing the location of Mariner’s burning rig relative to BP’s infamous Macondo well (still only temporarily plugged, awaiting a final “bottom kill” operation). The Mariner gas and oil rig is situated near the edge of the continental shelf, 100 miles off the Lousiana coast, 240 miles west of Macondo, in a water depth of 340 feet (surprisingly shallow at that distance offshore):
It’s busy out there. We’ve overlain active oil and gas platforms (orange dots) and oil and gas pipelines (green lines). Seafloor bathymetry is shown in shades of blue. All that rumply-looking stuff is the broad belt of salt domes and basins that makes the Gulf a really unique place, geologically and biologically.
UPDATE 9/2/10 6pm EDT – The Washington Post is reporting that the fire has been extinguished, and the 7 wells have all been successfully shut in (i.e., closed) and are not leaking. The Coast Guard is backing off their earlier report of a small oil slick. We’re still waiting for today’s NASA / MODIS satellite imagery to become available for download, but NASA has already published one of the images showing a small plume of smoke from the burning platform earlier this afternoon. We’ll take a look at the images acquired for the next few days as well.