A unified command composed of the Coast Guard, Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator's Office (LOSCO), and Hilcorp continue its response to an oil discharge after a tank platform collapse at the Hilcorp Caillou Island facility in Terrebonne Bay, Louisiana, August 10, 2022. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

No More Recoverable Oil in Terrebonne Bay Oil Spill

Mike Schuler
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August 11, 2022

A unified command responding to an oil spill in Louisiana’s Terrebonne Bay says overflights show there is no more recoverable oil.

The source of the discharge—a collapsed tank platform—was secured Monday after releasing an estimated 13,944 gallons of oil.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Unit Houma was notified Monday by the National Response Center that Hilcorp’s Caillou Island platform experienced a structural failure causing a tank to collapse into the water and spill oil.

The Coast Guard is responding to an oil spill after an oil tank platform collapsed at the Hilcorp Caillou Island facility in Terrebonne Bay, Louisiana August 8, 2022. U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo

The unified command, consisting of the Coast Guard, Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office (LOSCO), and Hilcorp, says minimal marsh and wildlife impacts have been observed and there are currently no closures of fisheries in the area.

Nearly 10,000 feet of containment boom was deployed along with three shallow water skimming vessels and ten fast response vessels to contain and recover observable oil.

A Wednesday morning overflight showed no remaining recoverable oil within the area, with the remaining product expected to dissipate naturally over the next few days. Additional overflights, drone evaluations, and on-water assessments will continue to closely monitor the situation.

“Due to the automated systems that immediately shut in the facility and the quick response of the operator to isolate the scene and contact federal, state, and local agencies, the impact of the incident was greatly diminished,” said Capt. Loan O’Brien, the Coast Guard’s Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the incident.

“The quick response enabled Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Louisiana Department of Health, along with Hilcorp Energy Company, Environmental Safety & Health Consulting Services, and Forefront Emergency Management to swiftly remove oil and greatly mitigate the impact to the environment,” Capt. O’Brien added.

Ocean conservation group Oceana says any claims about impacted wildlife are premature at best.

“Hilcorp is reporting no impacts to wildlife while the Louisiana Health Department is warning people to stay away from the impacted area and avoid fishing. It is highly unlikely that, after spilling 14,000 gallons of oil, wildlife hasn’t been harmed,” says Oceana campaign director Diane Hoskins. “Early reports regularly downplay the impacts of an oil spill citing lack of information. This is yet another oil spill from a reckless industry that continues to make false promises that oil spill disasters won’t occur. The health advisory from earlier this week certainly suggests fish and other animals living in the area have been harmed.”

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