300,000-plus gallons of oil spilled in Gulf of Mexico, authorities say
The U.S. Coast Guard said Saturday that aircraft and vessels were investigating a crude oil spill caused by a damaged pipeline that released an estimated 334,000 to 393,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast.
The Coast Guard's New Orleans office received a report at 1:30 p.m. Friday about the spill, which came from a pipeline connected to a subsea well in the Gulf about 40 miles southeast of Venice.
The pipeline, which is operated by LLOG Exploration, has been secured.
Initial flights over the site identified “three light sheens in the vicinity,” the Coast Guard reported.
It said Saturday night that those sheens had dissipated and no additional oil was visible.
By Saturday morning, two response vessels from Clean Gulf Associates and the Marine Spill Response Corp. were on the scene. The Coast Guard and contract aircraft were continuing to conduct overflights of the area.
As is routinely done in these matters, the Coast Guard said, its personnel will continue to look for and respond to any oil that reaches the surface of the water, coordinating with LLOG and federal agencies such as the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The Coast Guard statement said no crude oil is expected to wash up on the Louisiana shore.
“Initial trajectory models calculated by the responsible party and NOAA indicate that any surface oil is expected to move in a southwesterly direction and is not expected to impact the shoreline,” the statement read.