NEW ORELANS – Coast Guard officials are continuing to monitor a large crude oil release that was discovered several miles off the Louisiana coast last week.
The slick was spotted last Thursday in the Gulf of Mexico along the Main Pass Oil Gathering pipeline system close to Plaquemines Parish, southeast of New Orleans, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Officials estimated as much as 1.1 million gallons could have been released.
The 67-mile pipeline was shut down Thursday morning. The Coast Guard has conducted daily monitoring flights over the oil slick while two Coast Guard Cutters and drones monitor the situation near the water’s surface.
On Friday, observation teams saw visible oil moving southwest away from the Louisiana shore as three skimming boats worked to recover oil on the surface.
On Saturday and Sunday, flight crews observed intermittent surface sheens, the Coast Guard said. By Wednesday, overflights hadn’t observed any new visible sheen.
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So far, there have been no impacts on the Louisiana coast nor any observed oiled wildlife.
Crews have inspected 23 miles of the pipeline through Wednesday, but the source of the sheen has not been determined. Coast Guard officials are broadcasting safety warning messages to mariners in the region advising of the oil spill.