The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

July 25, 2013

Experts: Gas in Gulf blowout is less damaging

(Continued)

Joye said the accident, the second blowout off the Louisiana coast this month, does raise concerns about whether more regulation is needed.

"I believe that BSEE is taking rig safety very seriously, but more active rigs gives rise to more opportunity for problems. Accidents can happen," she said.

Officials on the mainland were also concerned about whether the well fire would affect this weekend's Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo. The major tourist event for the barrier island community of Grand Isle was canceled after the 2010 BP oil spill.

"It's important for tourism and for the island's economy. We won't cancel it unless we have to," said event coordinator Angela Dorvin. Jefferson Parish Council member Chris Roberts said he expected the rodeo to go on.

Environmentalists in Louisiana said the accident proves the need for strong oversight of offshore operations.

"We won't have the oil like we did in 2010, but still this is something we need to watch closely," said Darryl Maleck-Wiley of the Sierra Club. "Once again this is highlighting the dangerous nature of oil and gas operations in the Gulf and that we need aggressive inspection programs of these operations by the federal government."

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