The U.S. Coast Guard said Monday it was investigating nearly 350 reports of oil spills in and along the U.S. Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Ida.
The 150 mph winds from Hurricane Ida wreaked havoc on offshore oil production platforms and onshore oil and gas processing plants. About 88% of the region’s offshore oil production remains closed and more than 100 platforms unoccupied after the storm made landfall on August 29.
The Coast Guard conducted overflights off the coast of Louisiana looking for spills. It provides information to federal, state and local authorities responsible for site clean-up.
Sunday’s flights found evidence of a new leak from an offshore well and reported that another spill responsible for a kilometer-long oil trail was no longer active. A third report of oil near a drilling rig could not be confirmed, he said.
Offshore oil producer Talos Energy Inc, which hired divers and a cleanup crew to respond to an oil spill in Marchand Bay, said old pipelines damaged during the storm were apparently responsible for the visible drag.
The spill off the coast of Port Fourchon, Louisiana, has declined significantly since its discovery last week, Talos said. The company does not own the pipelines and ceased operations in the area four years ago, spokesman Brian Grove said.
An offshore well owned by S2 Energy was spewing oil about eight kilometers from the Bay Marchand site, the coast guard said. The company told the coast guard that it had secured the wellhead and was no longer discharging oil.
S2 did not immediately respond to a request for comment.