UNITED STATES: The United States Coast Guard and the clean-up crews are responding to a sizable oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico following the deadly Hurricane Ida, while a private team of divers is set to descend underwater to locate the source of the leak.
Recent satellite photos by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showed the slick about two miles (3km) off Port Fourchon, Louisiana.
The spill, which is ongoing, appears to be coming from a source underwater at an offshore drilling lease about 2 miles (3km) south of Port Fourchon in Louisiana, an oil and gas hub.
Since the growing spill appears to have remained out to sea, it has not yet affected the Louisiana shoreline.
Lieutenant John Edwards, the spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard, said on Saturday that the Clean Gulf Associates, a nonprofit oil-spill response cooperative, has placed a containment boom in the area underwater to prevent the further spread of the oil.
The company’s vessels are also running skimmers to remove oil from the water, so far about 42 gallons (about 160 litres) of oil has been removed.
Edwards said the oil spill was thought to be crude oil from an undersea pipeline owned by Talos Energy.
Houston-based Talos Energy however thought it was not responsible for the oil in the water, according to the Associated Press.
In a statement, Talos Energy said the company “will continue to work closely with the U.S. Coast Guard and other state and federal agencies to identify the source of the release and co-ordinate a successful response”.
Ida hit Louisiana last week, leaving large parts of the U.S. state without power.
Then moving to the north-east of the States, the hurricane killed dozens of people, causing devastation in a number of U.S. states.
President Joe Biden declared a flash flood emergency and released federal funds for rescue and recovery efforts.