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article imageShell oil spill dumps thousands of barrels of crude into Gulf

By Karen Graham     May 13, 2016 in Environment
A leak in a pipeline released almost 90,000 gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico Thursday, about 97 miles off the Louisiana coast. The leak forced the shut off of all wells leading into Shell's Brutus platform.
The leak of roughly 88,200 gallons of crude oil created an oil slick two miles wide and 17 miles long about 97 miles south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana, reports EcoWatch.
U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement officials said the accident occurred near Shell's Glider Field, an underwater pipeline system that connects four subsea wells to the Brutus tension-leg platform that floats on top of the water with a depth of 2,900 feet.
Map of the oil spill.
Map of the oil spill.
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
NBC News reports the U.S. Coast Guard says the leak has been contained and two companies have been contracted to clean up the oil slick. Shell Offshore Inc. is reporting that production for all the wells flowing into the Brutus platform had been shut off. No injuries or evacuations were reported.
Shell spokesman Curtis Smith in a statement said a company helicopter spotted the oil sheen on the water Thursday night. He added the wells are now under control and the leak has been isolated. In the statement, Shell said there are no drilling activities at Brutus, and this is not a well-control incident.
Shell is investigating the oil release by inspecting the subsea equipment and flow lines in the Glider field, adding, “No release is acceptable, and safety remains our priority as we respond to this incident.”
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement tightened its regulations for offshore drilling after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion that claimed the lives of 11 men and caused the largest man-made oil spill in U.S. history.
The Louisiana Bucket Brigade, a group that opposes drilling in the Gulf, issued a press release this morning noting that the federal National Response Center says the oil industry has thousands of accidents in the Gulf of Mexico every year.
More about Oil spill, Shell oil, Gulf of Mexico, brutus platform, Infrastructure
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