LLOG shuts in Gulf of Mexico well after oil spill

U.S.-based oil and gas company LLOG Exploration Offshore has shut in production from its Delta House development in the Gulf of Mexico following an oil spill from a damaged pipeline. 

The U.S. offshore safety regulator, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), said on Friday it had responded to a report from LLOG Exploration Offshore of an oil release from subsea infrastructure in 4,463 feet water depth in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 40 miles southeast of Venice, La.

The offshore oil and gas operator reported to BSEE that production from the field that flows through the subsea infrastructure was shut-in. The release of oil has ceased. A sheen was observed and reported through the National Response Center. Monitoring of the residual sheen continues. No shoreline impacts have been reported and there are no reports of personnel injuries.

LLOG reported to BSEE that the volume of oil released was estimated to be in the range of 7,950 to 9,350 barrels. LLOG has communicated to BSEE that there was no recoverable oil on surface. Two skimming vessels sourced from Clean Gulf Associates and Marine Spill Response Corporation were on location and prepared to respond.

The location of the release has been identified. LLOG reported that through the use of a remotely-operated vehicle, a fracture was observed in a jumper pipe leading from Mississippi Canyon Block 209, Well No. 1 to a manifold located on the seafloor. As a result of shutting in the well, the flow through the fracture in the pipe has ceased.

A BSEE engineer was on-site at LLOG’s incident command on Thursday to verify the release location via the live feed from the ROV. Two BSEE inspectors traveled offshore on Friday to LLOG’s Delta House platform and have initiated BSEE’s investigation. BSEE is coordinating with the U.S. Coast Guard on the response.

According to a report by the Coast Guard, four over flights were conducted on Saturday and have identified no additional visible oil. The previously reported sheens have dissipated.

The Coast Guard and contract aircraft are continuing to conduct overflights of the area.

Initial trajectory models calculated by the responsible party and NOAA indicated that any surface oil was expected to move in a southwesterly direction and was not expected to impact the shoreline.