The recent oil spill off the coast of Louisiana has spilled nearly twice as much oil as was originally estimated.
LLOG Exploration Company, LLC, which owns the fracture pipeline that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico last week, initially estimated that about 340,000 gallons of oil was spilled. Now the Coast Guard is announcing that the number is actually 672,000 gallons.
Even before the updated estimate, this new spill was the biggest since the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010, which spilled 210 million gallons of crude oil.
There are still no reports of injuries or shoreline impacts and cleanup is already underway. The flow has been contained, but no cause for the ruptured pipe has been determined.
According to the Coast Guard, because the pipeline is 5000 feet underwater, the oil is likely “broken down into small particles and disperse(d) into deep-water currents prior to reaching the surface.” They caution skimming vessels from Clean Gulf Associates and the Marine Sill Response Corporation to “remain on standby” but say “multiple daily flights” over the area have not detected any recoverable oil.
A five-member panel of inspectors, engineers and accident investigators has been called to investigate the cause of the accident.