Efforts Underway to Locate Pipeline Breach After Estimated 1.1 Million Gallons of Oil Contaminates Gulf of Mexico

by Ethan Kim
Gulf of Mexico oil spill

The U.S. Coast Guard disclosed on Tuesday that a pipeline system off the coast of Southeast Louisiana may be responsible for releasing as much as 1.1 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Officials have ceased operations of the implicated pipeline, yet they continue to seek the precise source and reason for the spillage, as stated in a Coast Guard briefing. Fortunately, the oil has not yet impacted any land areas, although its effects on the local wildlife are still under assessment. A report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service noted the sighting of two oil-coated pelicans near the Louisiana shoreline on Saturday, who were, however, observed to be active and capable of flight.

The oil leak was identified during a period of strong winds in the Gulf, which assisted in the evaporation and dispersion of some of the oil. Despite these conditions, oil slicks and patches remained noticeable, according to Capt. Kelly Denning, the New Orleans sector commander for the Coast Guard.

The leak was traced near a pipeline owned by Main Pass Oil Company, a Third Coast Infrastructure LLC subsidiary based in Houston. As of Tuesday morning, the company had not yet issued a response to inquiries. A segment of the pipeline, spanning 67 miles, was deactivated last week while efforts were made to locate and determine the cause of the leak.

WWL-TV reported last Friday that pipeline measurements suggested a loss of 1.1 million gallons of oil, a figure later acknowledged as plausible by federal authorities. This quantity is significantly smaller compared to the 134 million gallons released during the 2010 BP oil disaster caused by an oil rig explosion.

Nevertheless, an environmental organization labeled the spill as substantial. The Center for Biological Diversity, in a press release, lamented the recurrent threats faced by marine life in the Gulf, from dolphins to birds and rare whales, due to an industry frequently involved in spills and prioritizing profits over environmental safety.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Gulf of Mexico oil spill

What is the estimated amount of oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico?

As much as 1.1 million gallons of oil may have been discharged into the Gulf of Mexico from a pipeline system off Louisiana’s southeast coast.

Which area is affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico?

The oil spill is located in the Gulf of Mexico, off the southeast coast of Louisiana, and has not yet reached any land areas.

Which organization is leading the investigation into the oil spill?

The U.S. Coast Guard is leading the investigation to determine the exact location and cause of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Has the oil spill affected local wildlife?

The impact of the oil spill on wildlife is still being investigated, but two oily pelicans were spotted near the Louisiana coast, showing signs of activity and flight capability.

What measures have been taken in response to the oil spill?

The affected pipeline has been shut down, and efforts are ongoing to pinpoint the location and cause of the leak. Some oil has evaporated or dispersed due to high winds.

Who owns the pipeline system where the leak occurred?

The pipeline system is owned by Main Pass Oil Company, a subsidiary of Houston-based Third Coast Infrastructure LLC.

How does this spill compare to the 2010 BP oil disaster?

While significant, the estimated 1.1 million gallons of spilled oil is far less than the 134 million gallons released during the 2010 BP oil disaster.

More about Gulf of Mexico oil spill

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EcoWarrior November 25, 2023 - 8:40 am

dis oil spill is huge prob! wildlife sufferin again, industry shud care more.

LouisianaResident November 25, 2023 - 3:39 pm

scary stuff happenin in our backyard, hope dey fix it soon!

JoeB November 25, 2023 - 6:46 pm

omg, 1.1M galons oil in gulf! so sad, poor wildlife affected. coast guard lookin into it.

OilWatch November 26, 2023 - 1:33 am

BP spill way worse in 2010, but this still bad news, pipeline safety concern.


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