Pipeline Rupture in Gulf of Mexico

HOUSTON – The light crude oil pipeline that ruptured 30 miles south east of Galveston, Texas, Sunday has continued to leak oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

An overflight sent out by Plains Pipeline yesterday to view the spill site spotted a light sheen, which is approximately two miles long and 100 yards wide. The flight confirmed that the current and wind are pushing the oil away from shore, and it is not interrupting any ship traffic.

Plains Pipeline notified watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Houston/Galveston early Sunday that oil might have been released from one of their pipes, and confirmed it late Monday, Dec. 25.

The oil was released from the High Island Pipeline system, which had detected a pressure loss and shut down early on Sunday. The cause of the leak is still under investigation.

The pipeline is leaking from the platform side of the rupture at approximately 500 gallons a day. As of 4 p.m. yesterday, an estimated 42,000 gallons of oil has been leaked.

Plains Pipeline is bringing in a dive ship, the American Victory, which was scheduled to arrive this morning. Once on scene the divers will survey the damage and plug the pipeline.

A Unified Command is overseeing the operation, and consists of the Plains Pipeline LP, the Coast Guard and Texas General Land Office.

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