"The U.S. Coast Guard says that a pipeline spill off the Mississippi River Delta has released up to a maximum of 1.1 million gallons of oil into the environment, based on engineering calculations. If verified at the upper end of the potential release range, this would be a significant volume, equivalent to roughly 0.5 percent of the Deepwater Horizon blowout or 10 percent of the Exxon Valdez spill.
Over the weekend, a unified command set up by the Coast Guard organized overflights to establish the extent of the spill. A Thursday afternoon overflight identified a slick about four miles wide, with patches of dark oil throughout.
NOAA's analysts predict that it is moving off to the southwest, away from Louisiana's shores. By Sunday, the slick was reduced to intermittent surface sheening. The Coast Guard said that assessment flights continue, alongside surface monitoring by Coast Guard cutter assets.
The pipeline operator shut down MPOG on Thursday morning at 0630, and an oil sheen was spotted at 0900. Operator Third Coast Midstream Pipeline notified NOAA's National Response Center at 0910.
The spill has ceased and skimmers are working on cleanup. The breach in the pipeline has not been found, and ROV surveys are still under way in an attempt to locate it, weather permitting. The location is believed to be about 20 miles off Pass a Loutre.
The pipeline in question is the Main Pass Oil Gathering (MPOG) line, which handles about 80,000 barrels per day of crude from the shallow-water fields near Main Pass and Viosca Knoll. MPOG is currently a subsidiary of Texas-based oil firm Third Coast, formerly known as American Midstream."
"The US Coast Guard is still trying to find the source of an oil leak estimated to have dumped 26,000 barrels of crude oil — enough to fill two Olympic-size swimming pools — into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana.
Remotely-operated vehicles continue to survey a pipeline operated by Main Pass Oil Gathering Company, close to where the discharge took place, near Plaquemines Parish, southeast of New Orleans. The leak was discovered Thursday at 6:30 a.m., prompting Main Pass to shut its line that transports crude from fields in the Gulf of Mexico to the coast.
Skimming ships are working to recover oil on the surface. There have been no reported injuries or shoreline impact. Main Pass declined to comment and redirected inquiries to the Coast Guard.
News of the spill triggered a jump in prices of Heavy Louisiana Sweet oil produced in the area. On Monday prices traded at a premium of $2.70 to benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil, the highest premium since August, according to Link Data Services."