A suspected pipeline leak near Plaquemines Parish, southeast of New Orleans, could have led to the release of over 1 million gallons of crude oil, the U.S. Coast Guard said Monday.
A Unified Command has been established to monitor and respond to the oil spill, known as the MPOG11015 incident, near the Main Pass Oil Gathering (MPOG) company’s pipeline system. So far, the source of the oil leak has not been determined.
Over the past few days, the Unified Command has conducted multiple overflights to assess the situation. On Friday, visible oil was observed moving southwest away from the Louisiana shore. Efforts are underway to recover the oil from the surface using three skimming vessels. Intermittent surface sheens have since been observed.
The Coast Guard, with the assistance of two cutters and additional overflights, continues to monitor for any signs of oil.
Remotely operated vehicles were deployed on Friday to survey the pipeline, but no source has been identified yet. These vehicles will continue to survey the pipeline, weather permitting.
Fortunately, there have been no reports of injuries or impacts on the shoreline as of yet.
The total volume of discharged oil is currently unknown, however, initial estimates suggest that approximately 1.1 million gallons of crude oil may have been released. The affected pipeline, which spans 67 miles, was closed by MPOG on Thursday morning.
The Coast Guard is leading the coordinated efforts to mitigate the impact of the oil discharge. They are working in close coordination with federal, state, and local agencies to ensure the safety of the public, protect the environment, and respond effectively to the incident.
A marine safety information broadcast has been issued to alert all vessels in the area about the ongoing situation.
The cause of the incident is currently under investigation.
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