WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. Coast Guard said Saturday that crews are responding to a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The flow appears to have come from an underground lease for two miles (three miles) south of Port Forton, Louisiana. The reported location was first published on Wednesday by the Associated Press near the site of a mile-long brown and black oil spill in aerial photographs.
The growing oil slick appears to be on the sea and has not affected the coast of Louisiana.
Coast Guard spokesman Lt. John Edwards said the source of the contamination was in Bay Marchand, Block 4, which is believed to be crude oil from Talos Energy’s pipeline.
Brian El Grove, a spokesman for the Houston-based power company, said he did not believe the company was responsible for the oil, but said it had hired Gulf partners to respond.
Pure Gulf partners responded to the show on Wednesday with a non-profit oil and gas partnership. Their workers set up a bomb to reduce the spread of the oil. The Coast Guard has so far removed only 42 gallons (about 160 gallons), but the company’s ships are still working to remove oil from the water.
While Talos is investigating the cause of the leak, Grove’s statement indicates that field observations are not the source of the company’s assets. Talos previously leased the Bay Markets, Block 5, but stopped production in 2017, plugged the wells and removed all pipeline infrastructure in 2019.
According to Talos, two 95-foot (29-meter) response ships have been sent to the site for oil recovery work. An armored lift boat has also been set up and is expected to arrive on Saturday to help determine the source of the leak.
“Talos will continue to work with the US Coast Guard and other state and federal agencies to identify and coordinate the successful response,” the company said in a statement. The company’s main focus is the safety of all employees and public and environmental protection.