WASHINGTON, DC — The US Coast Guard said Dec. 6 that it found a light sheen west of an area in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) where it was leading the cleanup of a million-gallon (liters) oil spill for nearly three weeks, but it could not confirm if the sheen was from that spill.
The oil spill was first observed on Nov. 16 about 19 miles (30 km) offshore the Mississippi River delta, shutting in about 89 miles of underwater pipelines and around 3% of the GoM's daily crude oil output.
"The reported sheen is being investigated and has not been confirmed to be associated with the November 16 observed initial discharge," the US Coast Guard said.
No damage or indication of a leak had been identified after surveying the entire length of Main Pass Oil Gathering Co.'s (MPOG) 67-mile (108-km) pipeline, along with 22 miles (35 km) of surrounding pipelines. Remote-controlled devices and divers continued to reassess the pipelines.
The surrounding pipelines belong to operators whose oil production facilities are also closed, including W&T Energy VI, Occidental Petroleum, Walter Oil and Gas, Cantium, Arena Offshore, and Talos Energy Ventures.
"The main pipeline and several surrounding lines remain shut in and have not been put back into service," the US Coast Guard added.
Initial calculations placed the volume of the leak at 1.1 million gallons (4.2 million liters), or 26,190 bbl.