Shell Pipeline Leaks 88,000 Gallons of Oil in Gulf of Mexico

Mike Schuler
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May 13, 2016

File photo credit: Royal Dutch Shell

The U.S. Coast Guard is responding to a crude oil spill reportedly discharged from a Shell subsea well-head flow line, approximately 90 miles south of Timbalier Island, Louisiana, Thursday.

The Coast Guard says an estimated 88,200 gallons was reportedly released from the pipeline and that the source of the discharge has been reported as secured.

Marine Spill Response Corporation and Clean Gulf Associates have been contracted by Shell to begin clean up and containment operations.

GC 248 sheen location 600

The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is also involved in the response. The agency said a two mile by thirteen mile sheen was observed in the area of its Glider Field, a group of four subsea wells located in Green Canyon Block 248. The production from these four wells flows through a subsea manifold to Shell’s Brutus platform located in 2,900 feet of water.

A Coast Guard aircraft is conducting an aerial assessment of the site and surrounding areas.

“The likely cause of the sheen is a release of oil from subsea infrastructure and, in response, Shell has isolated the leak and shut-in production at both fields,” Shell said in a statement. “At this time, Shell estimates that 2100 barrels of oil were released. There are no drilling activities at Brutus, and this is not a well control incident. Shell is determining the exact cause of the release by inspecting the subsea equipment and flowlines in the Glider field. The company has made all appropriate regulatory notifications and mobilized response vessels, including aircraft, in the event the discharge is recoverable. There are no injuries.”

BSEE will lead the incident investigation.

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