U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Lt. John Edwards said on Saturday that Clean Gulf Associates, a nonprofit oil spill response cooperative, had placed a containment boom in the area to prevent the spread of oil.
The company’s ships also use skimmers that can extract oil from the water, although only about 42 gallons (about 160 liters) of oil have been removed so far.
The spill, which is ongoing, appears to have originated from an underwater source in an offshore drilling concession about 3 km south of Port Fourchon in Louisiana, an oil and gas hub.
So far, the growing spill appears to have remained at sea and has not affected the Louisiana coastline.
There is no estimate yet for the amount of oil in the water, but recent satellite images examined by the Associated Press news agency on Saturday appear to show the slick drifting more than 19 km east on along the gulf coast.
Edwards said response teams are monitoring reports and satellite images to determine the extent of the release.
He said the source of the pollution is located at Bay Marchand, Block 4, and is believed to be crude oil from an undersea pipeline owned by Talos Energy.
Brian L Grove, spokesperson for the Houston-based energy company, said it had hired Clean Gulf Associates to respond to the spill, even though the company does not believe it is responsible for the oil in the water.
Talos will also send a team of divers to determine the source of the spill on Sunday.
“Talos will continue to work closely with the US Coast Guard and other state and federal agencies to identify the source of the release and coordinate a successful response,” the company said in a statement. “The main priorities of the company are the safety of all personnel and the protection of the public and the environment.
Once the source was identified, the Coast Guard said they would work on a source control and recovery plan.
The Bay Marchand spill is one of dozens of reported environmental hazards that regulators are responding to in Louisiana and the Gulf in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
The Category 4 storm was one of the strongest hurricanes to hit the US Gulf Coast.
It made landfall in Louisiana last Sunday, destroying entire communities.