Coast Guard Responding to 300,000 Gallon Crude Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico

The U.S. Coast Guard and other federal agencies are responding to a crude oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Coast Guard said Saturday its Sector New Orleans received a report from the National Response Center at 1:30 p.m., Friday of a discharge from a damaged pipeline associated with a subsea well approximately 40 miles southeast of Venice, LA. 

The pipeline, which is operated by LLOG Exploration, has been secured.

LLOG reported to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) that the volume of oil released is estimated to be in the range of 7,950 to 9,350 barrels, or approximately 333,900 to 392,700 gallons, according to the Coast Guard. Production from the field that flows through the subsea infrastructure is shut-in, the company said.

Mississippi Canyon Block 209 located in red.

The damaged pipeline located in about 4,463 feet water depth, the BSEE said.

“The location of the release has been identified,” the BSEE said in a statement late Friday. “LLOG reported that through the use of a remotely-operated vehicle, a fracture was observed in a jumper pipe leading from Mississippi Canyon Block 209, Well No. 1 to a manifold located on the seafloor. As a result of shutting in the well, the flow through the fracture in the pipe has ceased.”

Initial overflights identified three light sheens in the vicinity, according to the Coast Guard.

Two response vessels from Clean Gulf Associates and the Marine Spill Response Corporation are on scene.  The Coast Guard and contract aircraft are continuing to conduct overflights of the area.

The Coast Guard is coordinating the response with the responsible party (LLOG Exploration), the BSEE and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to locate and respond to any oil that reaches the surface. 

Initial trajectory models calculated by LLOG and NOAA indicate that any surface oil is expected to move in a southwesterly direction and is not expected to impact the shoreline.

A BSEE engineer was on-site at LLOG’s incident command Thursday to verify the release location via the live feed from the ROV, the BSEE statement said. Two BSEE inspectors traveled offshore Friday to LLOG’s Delta House platform and have initiated BSEE’s investigation.