Taylor Energy’s Mississippi Canyon site, about 19 miles off the southeast coast of Louisiana, was toppled by Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and has since been releasing upwards of 70,000 gallons of crude oil a day, recent estimates show.
One of about 3,000 oil platforms in the western Gulf of Mexico, it’s dumped more oil into the Gulf than did the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon, and the impacts are still being tallied.
…”You’re seeing a lot of resiliency in the system but there’s still long-term issues with the sea grass and oysters,” said Daniel Andrews, with Captains for Clean Water.
…The company says it has done everything possible to stem the flow of oil and that it should no longer be held accountable for the leak.
Costs are extreme, and the technology needed to fix the massive leak does not yet exist, the company has argued in court. [Um, tough shit? They caused the mess and they are 100% responsible for cleaning it up.]
…The federal government says it could take 100 years for the leak to dissipate on its own.
But the Coast Guard, in recent months, has capped at least part of the leak, according to Renaud.
“I think right now they’re (the Coast Guard) taking a moment to celebrate that they’re containing oil that’s been spilling for 14 years,” Renaud said. “At the end of the day (the work being done now) isn’t a permanent solution, so they’re going to have to drill relief wells. “
…”We have 10 years of evidence that’s there’s way more oil than they’ve been reporting for years,” Renaud said of Taylor Energy. “It’s really a runaway situation that should have been remedied a long time ago. Either they’re really confused or their science just wasn’t very good, or they’re just trying to avoid the penalty of law.”
…The offshore oil drilling industry is largely self-regulated when it comes to recording and reporting leaks.
If a company has a leak, it must report some number to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, or BSEE, which accepts the number as being a true representation of what’s occurring in the Gulf of Mexico.
This arm of the Coast Guard tracks all spills greater than 1 barrel, or 42 gallons, and reports spills larger than 50 barrels, about 2,100 gallons.