U.S. Coast Guard Photo

U.S. Coast Guard Photo

NEW ORLEANS — The United States Coast Guard on Wednesday said it was responding to a report to an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico following an allision between a vessel and an inactive wellhead.

Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report that the 42-foot crewboat Sea Raider allided with a wellhead owned by Swift Energy at around 8 p.m., Tuesday about nine miles southwest of Port Sulphur. The platform is discharging an oily-water mixture, but the amount is unknown at this time.

Swift Energy reports the wellhead was shut down and became inactive in December 2007.

The Coast Guard is working with federal, state and local agencies as well as the responsible party, Swift Energy, in response to the incident to secure the well and contain and clean up any oil that is leaking.

No injuries were reported and the incident is under investigation.

Update (Feb. 28):

Response crews have deployed 1,800-feet of boom to contain the discharged oily-water mixture from the wellhead. The discharge coming from the wellhead is less than 840 gallons of oil being spilled per day.

Two oil-skimming vessels are on scene conducting cleanup operations. Two contracted fixed wing aircraft with Coast Guard aerial observers onboard have been conducting overflights of the impacted area throughout the day.


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  • John Schroeder

    I can only guess how many hazards to navigation such as this are in the Gulf. How many are not marked with at least a light and radar reflector? Usually a well that is inactive for 5 years or so is required to be cemented in when on a land lease. How do these companies get away with it?

    Looks like this company will get a little financial pain out of it.

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