Broken oil wellhead capped in waters off Plaquemines Parish - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Broken oil wellhead capped in waters off Plaquemines Parish

Updated:
Courtesy: U.S. Coast Guard Courtesy: U.S. Coast Guard

Plaquemines Parish, La. - The U.S. Coast Guard says a wellhead damaged earlier this week off Plaquemines Parish has been capped.

The wellhead, owned by Swift Energy was damaged Tuesday by a crewboat belonging to the same company.  Skimmer boats have collected 1200 gallons of oily water.

FOX 8 received this news release from Coast Guard Sector New Orleans Thursday afternoon:

Responders secured the CM-186 wellhead leak in Lake Grande Ecaille Bay nine miles southwest of Port Sulphur at 3:12 p.m., Thursday.

Responders with Wild Well Control were able to secure the well shortly after the arrival of a specialized equipment barge, while crews continue cleanup operations. Response crews have recovered more than 1,200 gallons of oily-water mixture and deployed 4,880 feet of boom around the wellhead and all sensitive areas. The estimated maximum potential discharge from the wellhead was fewer than 1,260 gallons of crude oil and 1,134 gallons of oily water per day.

Response assets include four air boats, four barge boats, two skimming vessels, a Clean Gulf Associates fast response vessel and a tank barge, which will continue skimming and boom deploying operations. Contracted airplane crews will conduct additional overflights of the impacted area as the day progresses.

"Our primary objectives, as we continue this response, are to ensure the safety of response personnel and the public, secure the source of the discharge," said Lt. Cmdr. Lushan Hannah, the incident commander for the operation. "We will continue to maintain effective containment of recoverable liquids, continually assess the incident's potential, as well as identify and protect areas that are environmentally sensitive and areas with historical or cultural significance."

Coast Guard watchstanders initially received a report that the 42-foot crewboat Sea Raider allided with the Swift Energy-owned CM-186 wellhead Tuesday evening.

The Coast Guard Gulf Strike Team has been deployed and is on scene helping oversee cleanup operations. There are more than 40 personnel responding to this incident.

The Coast Guard is working with federal, state and local agencies, which include Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinators Office, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and Plaquemines Parish, as well as the responsible party, Swift Energy, in response to this incident to secure the well and contain and clean up any oil that is leaking.

Swift Energy reports the wellhead was shut down and became inactive in December 2007. The wellhead produced crude oil and natural gas.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.

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