Oil Rig Leaking After Explosion: Another Gulf Oil Spill?

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AP Graphic

The Coast Guard is reporting that a mile-long oil sheen is spreading from the site of today’s oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Associated Press.

The location of the rig, as seen in the graphic above, is about 200 miles west of BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig. Thirteen workers were present during the explosion, but all are still alive and were spotted floating in the water wearing emergency gear called gumby suits.

A commercial helicopter first spotted the explosion, the cause of which is still being investigated early Thursday afternoon. (See dramatic photos of history’s biggest oil spills)

Luckily, there’s some good news: Even if the situation becomes severe, the cleanup process would be much easier on this platform than during the BP debacle. The AP reports that this well was dug in shallow water, unlike BP’s rig, and this makes cleaning oil off the ocean floor much simpler.

During an initial flyover of the area, officials did not spot any oil spilling, though this new sheen may change reports.