Repair to well off Texas coast taking longer than expected

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — Repairs to a natural gas well off the Texas coast that started leaking last week will take longer than expected, officials said.

The well, located on a platform about 3 miles (5 kilometers) offshore from Padre Island’s Bob Hall Pier, was expected to have been repaired by early this week. But the City of Corpus Christi said in a Tuesday evening news release that the company handling the repairs needs additional equipment to replace a leaking valve.

The city said additional elements of the wellhead also need to be repaired before the replacement can be completed.

On Sept. 1, the unmanned well owned by Houston-based Magellan E&P Holdings Inc. began spewing a plume of natural gas, condensate and water, in addition to emitting a sound like a jet engine. By the next day, the plume had diminished to about 5% of its original size.

The city said a failed seal on the wellhead caused the release.

The city says air quality monitoring will continue but that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has said the air quality and beach remain safe.

Last month, four people were killed when a dredging vessel in the Port of Corpus Christi hit a submerged propane pipeline, causing an explosion.

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