The U.S. Coast Guard said Saturday that cleanup crews are responding to a sizable oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico following Hurricane Ida.
The spill, which is ongoing, appears to be coming from a source underwater at an offshore drilling lease about two miles (three kilometers) south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana. The reported location is near the site of a miles-long brown and black oil slick visible in aerial photos first published Wednesday by The Associated Press.
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So far, the growing spill appears to have remained out to sea and has not impacted the Louisiana shoreline. There is not yet any estimate for how much oil was in the water, but recent satellite images reviewed by AP on Saturday appeared to show the slick drifting more than a dozen miles (more than 19 kilometers) eastward along the Gulf coast.
Coast Guard spokesman Lt. John Edwards said response teams are monitoring reports and satellite imagery to determine the scope of the discharge. He said the source of the pollution is located in Bay Marchand, Block 4, and is believed to be crude oil from an undersea pipeline owned by Talos Energy.
Brian L. Grove, spokesman for the Houston-based energy company, said it had hired Clean Gulf Associates to respond to the spill even though the company believes it is not responsible for the oil in the water.
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Clean Gulf Associates, a nonprofit oil-spill response cooperative that works with the energy exploration and production industry, responded to the scene Wednesday. Its workers have placed a containment boom in the area to mitigate further spread of the oil. The company's vessels are also running skimmers that can remove oil from the water, though the Coast Guard said only about 42 gallons (about 160 liters) had been removed so far.