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September 6, 2021

by Ari Natter

According to the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s office, federal agencies are responding to a 22-kilometer oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that was discovered after Hurricane Ida.

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The spill, which consists of a 4 mile black luster and a 10 mile rainbow glow, is in federal waters off Port Fourchon, Louisiana, coordinator Sam Jones said.

“That’s big,” Jones said in an interview on Saturday. “It’s the biggest one out there.”

The crude oil is believed to have come from a pipeline that Houston-based oil and gas exploration company Talos Energy Inc. said it is leading a response to the spill that came from an unknown Source is in an area where production stopped in 2017.

“Extensive field observations suggest that Talos’ assets are not the source,” the company said in a statement. “Talos will continue to work closely with the US Coast Guard and other state and federal agencies to identify the source of the release and coordinate a successful response.” Talos said it had deployed two 95-foot response vessels, to conduct oil exploration operations on the site, as well as an additional ship and divers to aid in finding the well.

Jones said his agency had received 265 reports of spills and other incidents related to Ida, including 32 that appeared serious. Below that were two underwater pipelines that appeared to be carrying gas and a gas well that was blowing in Three Bayou Bay in Jefferson Parish. The agency is investigating who owns those assets, Jones said.

Several spills of crude oil have been reported in the Gulf of Mexico, including one near an offshore oil rig in the Gulf, according to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

The agency has reported more than 100 cases of spills and other toxic ones Spills reported as Ida’s environmental impact becomes visible in a petrochemical corridor full of hazardous chemical plants and refineries.

“The type of accident we see is preventable and shouldn’t happen,” said Naomi Yoder, a research fellow at Healthy Gulf, a New Orleans-based environmental group that brought authorities to Ida. has reported multiple spills. “Is it something we can fix or will it be a very long-term process?”

Hurricane Ivan in 2004 caused an underwater oil spill that is still leaking, she said.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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