WASHINGTON, DC — The US Coast Guard on Nov. 20 said it was still looking for the source of a leak from an underwater pipeline off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) that it estimated had released more than a million gallons of crude oil.
The 67-mile-long pipeline was closed by Main Pass Oil Gathering Co. (MPOG) on the morning of Nov. 16, after crude oil was spotted about 19 miles offshore of the Mississippi River Delta, near Plaquemines Parish, southeast of New Orleans.
"Overflight teams observed visible oil Friday [Nov. 17] moving southwest away from the Louisiana shore," the Coast Guard said, as oil recovery efforts continued and underwater devices surveyed the pipeline to find the leak's source.
While the exact volume of discharged oil was not known, the Coast Guard, which was leading the cleanup, said initial engineering calculations placed the volume of the leak at 1.1 million gallons, or 26,190 bbl.
It added that there were no reported injuries or shoreline impacts so far, and the cause of the leak was under investigation.
The US Environmental Protection Agency said on Nov. 17 that the Coast Guard had activated the National Response Team, comprising 15 federal entities responsible for coordinating the response to oil pollution incidents.
Third Coast Infrastructure, which owns MPOG, declined to comment on Nov. 17 and referred questions to the Coast Guard.