Oil Spill Seeping into Gulf of Mexico Contained, Not Stopped After 14 Years, Coast Guard Says

Oil Spill Seeping into Gulf of Mexico Contained, Not Stopped After 14 Years, Coast Guard Says

May 17, 2019– Mary Greeley News – An ongoing oil spill that has been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico for more than 14 years is finally being contained, the U.S. Coast Guard announced on Thursday.

The Taylor Energy oil spill began after Hurricane Ivan triggered an underwater mudslide in 2004 that caused the company’s oil platform to topple and sink.

Between 300 and 700 barrels of oil per day had been spewing from a site 12 miles off the Louisiana coast since 2004, when an oil-production platform owned by Taylor Energy sank in a mudslide triggered by Hurricane Ivan.

Many of the wells have not been capped, and federal officials estimate that the spill could continue through this century. With no fix in sight, the Taylor offshore spill is threatening to overtake BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster as the largest ever.
The New Orleans-based company managed to cap some of the 25 broken pipes leading to the leak, but many were left unplugged.

Environmental groups subsequently sued the company in federal court in 2012.

The Interior Department was fighting an effort by Taylor Energy to walk away from the disaster. The company sued Interior in federal court, seeking the return of about $450 million left in a trust it established with the government to fund its work to recover part of the wreckage and locate wells buried under 100 feet of muck.

Oil Spill Seeping into Gulf of Mexico Contained, Not Stopped After 14 Years, Coast Guard Says

Since then it’s been a slew of legal battles, with Taylor Energy playing down the magnitude and environmental impact of the leak.

Most recently, Taylor Energy tried to block the Coast Guard from moving ahead with plans to stem the constant flow. The company argued it is not possible to eliminate the constant oil slicks that often stretch for miles on the surface of the water and that to try to stop it could make the leak worse.

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But in a status report filed on Tuesday, lawyers with the Coast Guard and Department of Justice say workers have made tremendous strides in containing and collecting the ooze after moving ahead with plans.

Oil Spill Seeping into Gulf of Mexico Contained, Not Stopped After 14 Years, Coast Guard Says

On Thursday, the agency said that “the system is working, and the once predominantly large surface sheen has been reduced to barely visible. We will continue to monitor the containment system’s performance and make necessary adjustments to maximize containment of the spill,” according to Capt. Kristi Luttrell.

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“We sued, we discussed, we pressured and perhaps finally the Gulf has won if this huge leak is stopped,” Marylee Orr, executive director of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network/Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper, one of the groups leading the initial lawsuit against Taylor Energy, told NPR.

Oil Spill Seeping into Gulf of Mexico Contained, Not Stopped After 14 Years, Coast Guard Says

According to the court documents, more than 30,000 gallons of oil have been collected since the new collection system was installed.

Estimates of how much oil was leaking have varied widely, from as low as 1 barrel to 100 barrels’ worth of oil each day.

Oil Spill Seeping into Gulf of Mexico Contained, Not Stopped After 14 Years, Coast Guard Says

About 2,000 platforms stand in the waters off the Bayou State. Nearly 2,000 others are off the coasts of its neighbors, Texas and Mississippi. On top of that are nearly 50,000 miles of active and inactive pipelines carrying oil and minerals to the shore.

And the costs are high.

For every 1,000 wells in state and federal waters, there’s an average of 20 uncontrolled releases of oil — or blowouts — every year. A fire erupts offshore every three days, on average, and hundreds of workers are injured annually.

Mary Greeley News
www.marygreeley.com

credit: In part with https://www.npr.org/2019/05/16/724164873/oil-spill-seeping-into-gulf-of-mexico-contained-after-14-years-coast-guard-says?utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=news&utm_source=dlvr.it
https://www.msn.com/en-xl/latinamerica/life-arts/a-14-year-long-oil-spill-in-the-gulf-of-mexico-verges-on-becoming-one-of-the-worst-in-us-history/ar-BBOIcjy?li=BBKxOg5