The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has partially assumed federal management of response operations to comprise an oil discharge from the location of the collapsed Mississippi Canyon Block 20 (MC20) offshore platform 11 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River.
The U.S. Coast Guard mentioned that it will entry the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund below the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and assume authority for holding and disposing of the oil.
The leak began in 2004 when Hurricane Ivan prompted a mudslide on the ground of the Gulf of Mexico that toppled Taylor Energy’s MC20 offshore platform, about 12 miles off the tip of the Mississippi River. Taylor Energy liquidated its oil and fuel property 4 years later and ceased all drilling and manufacturing operations.
The platform’s nicely conductor pipes had been left buried in additional than 100 toes of mud and sediment. Since the preliminary incident, federal officers have directed Taylor Energy to take away the platform deck, take away sub-sea particles, decommission the oil pipeline, try and comprise the leaking oil, and plug 9 of the 25 impacted wells that had been deemed the best threat.
Following a number of scientific research, carried out over a number of years by federal and industrial specialists, the Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) issued an administrative order in October requiring Taylor Energy to suggest a ultimate viable plan to put in a containment system.
In November, the FOSC finally issued Taylor Energy a Notice of Federal Assumption and assumed authority for holding the oil.
In the identical month, the Coast Guard contracted a specialised staff to conduct a complete website survey, fabricate a containment system, and set up it on the supply to start out gathering the oil.
According to the USCG, the staff is at present within the planning section. Weather and sea state will largely dictate operations, which is able to contain cumulative weeks at sea, intensive dive and remotely operated automobile (ROV) operations, and underwater gear set up.
USCG Capt. Kristi Luttrell, the FOSC for the MC20 response, mentioned: “While the security of response personnel is paramount, we don’t wish to delay response actions. We plan to leverage each climate window accessible from now till the system is put in and gathering oil.
“We are dedicated to public security and preserving the Gulf marine surroundings. As we transfer swiftly to develop and set up the containment system, we are going to proceed working with our federal, state, and native companions to make sure a everlasting resolution is in place,” she mentioned.
The partial federal management additionally signifies that the federal government nonetheless plans for Taylor to pay for the prices. Regardless of the governments plans, the previous oil firm is in court docket with the U.S. authorities seeking to get better $432 million from its $666 million spill-response belief fund, because it believes it did all the things attainable to cease the leak. The case, submitted to the court docket in 2016, remains to be being contested in court docket.
Bigger than Deepwater Horizon?
According to reviews by WWL TV, the leak barely acquired any public consideration till 2010 after BP’s huge Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred about 35 miles to the south.
The media outlet mentioned in one among its articles that Taylor claimed the leaks in a number of of the 25 wells tied in to the toppled manufacturing platform had been brought on by an “act of God,” not any negligence, and that the federal authorities by no means fined the agency for any violations of the Clean Water Act or different environmental legal guidelines.
Also, Oscar Pineda-Garcia, director of an oil-spill monitoring firm Water Mapping LLC used satellite tv for pc imagery to estimate that the spill is leaking wherever from 239 to 697 barrels from Taylor’s wells every day for the final 5,150 days.
Following the estimate by Water Mapping, the Washington Post revealed an article in October to recommend that the Taylor Energy leak “is threatening to overhaul BP’s Deepwater Horizon catastrophe as the biggest ever” because it has “no repair in…