A satellite image shows an oil slick following Hurricane Ida, south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana, U.S., September 2, 2021. European Union, Copernicus Sentinel data [2021], processed by Maxar Satellite/Handout via REUTERS.

Talos Says Its Assets Are Not the Source of Large Oil Slick Off Port Fourchon

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September 8, 2021

Houston-based Talos Energy has again stated that its assets were not the source of an oil release in Bay Marchand Block 5, off the coast of Port Fourchon, Louisiana in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Yet, Talos says it has opted to continue to lead response efforts to contain and control the release.

Talos said it was initially notified of a release observed on Bay Marchand Block 5 in Louisiana state waters on Tuesday, August 31st due to its status as a prior lessee of the block. The company ceased production from the block in 2017 and, subsequently, Talos says wells were appropriately isolated from the producing reservoir according to regulatory standards and all Talos pipeline infrastructure was removed by 2019. 

Upon notification of the discharge, Talos says it immediately initiated its response team and vessels began to arrive on location on Wednesday, September 1, to conduct oil containment and recovery operations with booms and skimmers. A lift boat equipped with a dive spread arrived on location on Saturday, September 4. Divers were deployed this past Sunday to investigate potential sources of the release. 

Talos says it conducted both physical inspections and subsea sonar scans that confirmed Talos assets were not the source or cause of the release, but it also observed several non-Talos owned subsea pipelines that were likely impacted by Hurricane Ida, including a 12″ diameter non-Talos owned pipeline that appears to be the source of the release. On Monday, September 6, response personnel installed a containment dome on the affected pipe, which allows for the recovery of the release and transfer to surface vessels.

The U.S. Coast Guard has since reported visual surveillance, surface evidence of the release has significantly diminished and there have been no observed impacts to shoreline or wildlife.

Talos says it is working closely with the USCG and Louisiana state officials to identify the owner of the line and is continuing to collaborate with USCG and other state and federal officials to receive approval to initiate permanent repair of the line. A timeline for repair operations is still being determined.

John Spath, Talos Senior Vice President of Production Operations, who is leading the Company’s response efforts, commented: “Our team is doing everything possible to spearhead a fast, effective and safe containment and clean-up. Although the spill was unrelated to our operations, it was important to mobilize and identify the source and to contain the release to reduce safety and environmental risks. Though we have confirmed our assets are not involved, Talos is committed to establishing containment and control of the release. Our team reacted quickly and did the right thing, and we will continue working with local, state and federal regulators to see this through.”

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