They Are Now Saying Could Be Much Worse Than BP!!!
It will be worse on earnings. BP was a single well. This a a production platform and a well. The well is right next to a production platform. That platform is shut in, which is 3 products shut in, condensate, gas, and oil, that will not be sold while the platform is closed. That's a lot of revenue. ENI is the other major owner of the production platform. If that well blows up, that entire production platform complex wil lose all the hook ups from all over the field. That feed into that production platform.
Casing is leaking around wellbore. The gas is bubbling up under the drill rig, and production platform. The top 1000 feet of the well is cased, which means a steel tube is set in cement when the 1st 1000 ft of drilling is done. On top of that casing goes the blowout collar, and the umbillical is attached to that. The top casing is used to guide the bits into the well bore is generally 12 to 20 inch pipe, set in cement. The drill pipe and bits go into it, befor they contact the drill face. If the drill pipe is 10 inch then the casing pipe is 12 inch. That casing is leaking around the 1st 1000 feet in the drill hole, bypassing the blowout collar on the sea bed. They could recase the well to a small diameter, deeper, but in water that is tough to do. The cement didn't set right, or the drill stem caught on the lower lip of the casing while being brought up, and dislodged it. Most likely the latter since they knew right away. The drill crew knew the drill stem was hung up. Then the gas detectors went off. Everyone panics, would you want to burned alive. This isn't Fukushima where they have loyalists walking into exposed reactor cores, doing an assessment, without foil suits. They probably hoisted the pipe out of the hole carefully. Closed the seabed blowout collar, closed the deck blowout collar, began deck roll calls, and got the lifeboats ready to board. Gas explosions are violent, 20 G events(which will kill you instantly), everything shuts down. Everyone returns to their safety post and shuts down everything, then returns to deck edges, lays flat, and waits for another roll call. Evac begins.
I don't see any reports of flaring, which doesn't mean it isn't occuring. Did you see live pictures? Those flare pipes extend way off the decks, to prevent flame blow back. Easy 300 ft. or more. Think 3 times the length of longest point on the deck.