A leak last week in the Delta House floating production facility has resulted in nearly 400,000 gallons of crude oil being released into the waters off Louisiana.
The pipe, owned by offshore oil and gas operator LLOG Exploration Company, sprung a leak last Wednesday. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has now called for a five-member panel to investigate the cause. Current theories are that it was caused by a fractured flowline jumper.
LLOG Exploration has reported that between 7,950 and 9,350 barrels of oil were released from a subsea infrastructure 40 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana.
The spill, which is still only a fraction of that of the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe that spilled 100 million gallons of crude, is the largest oil spill in seven years.
Hopefully, there is some good news. According to Louisiana State University environmental science professor Edward Overton, “Way offshore, the oil had time to dissipate before it could cause lots of damage.”
The leak has been contained, and a cleanup operation is underway. More information on the spill’s effects on the ecosystem will be available as the panel conducts its investigation.
BSEE’s Gulf of Mexico Region Direction, Lars Herbst, released the following statement:
“BSEE places great emphasis on making certain all oil and gas operations on America’s Outer Continental Shelf are safe. This panel investigation is a critical step in ensuring BSEE determines the cause, or causes, of the incident and develops recommendations to prevent similar events from occurring in the future.”