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A Main Pass Oil Gathering Company, LLC helicopter aircrew spotted crude oil during an overflight near Main Pass, Louisiana, November 16, 2023. Photo courtesy Main Pass Oil Gathering Company, LLC

A Main Pass Oil Gathering Company, LLC helicopter aircrew spotted crude oil during an overflight near Main Pass, Louisiana, November 16, 2023. Photo courtesy Main Pass Oil Gathering Company, LLC

Gulf of Mexico Pipeline Repaired After Mystery Oil Spill Off Louisiana

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1554
April 8, 2024

A Unified Command has successfully completed an integrity test on the Main Pass Oil Gathering (MPOG) company’s pipeline system, located southeast of New Orleans in Plaquemines Parish. This procedure was carried out in response to an oil release that was first detected on November 16, 2023.

The integrity test revealed a failed subsea connector on the MPOG line that did not maintain pressure. It is still undetermined whether this connector was associated with the November oil release, and additional potential sources are being investigated.

The exact quantity of the oil discharge is unknown. However, initial projections suggest that roughly 1.1 million gallons of crude oil could have been released from the 67-mile long pipeline, which was subsequently was closed by MPOG.

Working with the Unified Command, MPOG developed and executed a plan to safely remove and replace the spool piece – the part of the pipeline that included the failed connector. The operation prioritized safety and environmental protection. The spool piece was successfully replaced on February 21.

After the replacement, MPOG performed another integrity test on a majority of the pipeline. The pipeline was pressurized in stages using an inert gas to ensure the system could maintain containment. The test concluded on Friday, revealing no additional pipeline segments that require further assessment.

The operations were closely monitored by the Unified Command and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Multiple safety measures were in place, including spill response vessels, divers, remotely operated vehicles, and multi-spectral imaging cameras. No significant oil discharges were observed during these procedures.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is leading the investigation into the source of the November 16 oil release.

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