WASHINGTON (AP) — The company overseeing the response to a large oil spill spurred by Hurricane Ida said Tuesday that a containment dome has been placed over a broken undersea pipeline, stemming the flow into the Gulf of Mexico.
Houston-based Talos Energy said in a statement that its oil spill response contractor had installed the containment dome Monday evening, allowing for the recovery of the oil coming from the sheared-off 1-foot-diameter (30-centimeter-diameter) pipe and transferring it to surface vessels.
Talos said it does not own the ruptured pipeline that divers identified as the likely source of a mileslong oil slick that has been spreading since the Category 4 hurricane made landfall Aug. 29.
The Associated Press first reported last week that aerial photos showed a large brown and black oil slick spreading about 2 miles (3 kilometers) south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana. The broken pipe is in relatively shallow water, at about 34 feet (10 meters) of depth.
Talos said the rate of oil appearing on the surface had slowed dramatically over the weekend and that no new heavy black crude had been seen since Sunday.
So far, the spill appears to have remained out to sea and has not affected the Louisiana shoreline. There is not yet any estimate for how much oil was in the water.
The Coast Guard said Saturday that its response teams are monitoring reports and satellite imagery to determine the scope of the discharge, which is located in Bay Marchand, Block 4. Talos previously leased Bay Marchand, Block 5, but ceased production there in 2017, plugged its wells and removed all pipeline infrastructure by 2019, according to the company.
The company said it is working with the U.S. Coast Guard and Louisiana regulators to coordinate the response and identify the pipe’s owner.
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