Hundreds of oil spill reports on US Gulf Coast

The US Coast Guard said on Monday September 6th that it was investigating nearly 350 reports of oil spills in and along the US Gulf Coast as a consequence of Hurricane Ida.

About 88% of the region’s offshore oil production remained shut and more than 100 platforms were still unoccupied after the storm hit land 50 miles west of New Orleans on August 29th.

The USCG said that it had been flying over the area off the coast of Louisiana, looking for any oil spills. It said that it was providing information to federal, state, and local authorities responsible for cleaning the sites.

The coast guard’s flights on Sunday found evidence of a new leak from an offshore well. It reported another leak that was thought to be responsible for a miles-long streak of oil was no longer active (see below). A third report of oil near a drilling platform could not be confirmed.

Offshore oil producer Talos Energy Inc had hired divers and a clean-up crew to respond to an oil spill in Bay Marchand. It has since said that old pipelines damaged during the storm were apparently responsible for the visible streak.

An evaluation by divers and sonar scan found no leaks tied to Talos oil pipelines. A 12-inch undersea pipeline was found to be displaced from its original trench location, and it appeared to be bent and open-ended.

Talos said that the spill off the coast of Port Fourchon, Louisiana, had lessened substantially since it was first discovered last week. The company noted that it was not the owner of the pipelines and that it had ceased operations in the area four years ago.

An offshore well belonging to S2 Energy was discharging oil about five miles away from the Bay Marchand site, the USCG said. The wellhead was reported to have been secured and no longer to be discharging oil.