Coast Guard responds to report of oil near Head of Passes in Gulf of Mexico

8th Coast Guard District NewsNEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard is responding to a report of an oil discharge, Monday, near Head of Passes, in the Gulf of Mexico.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received notification at 1:43 p.m., Monday, reporting that an estimated 630 gallons of Louisiana sweet crude oil was discharged from the Gulf Production Company-Raphael Pass production facility. The discharge was reportedly due to the failure of a three-phase high-pressure separator coming from an Exxon well to the facility.

Gulf Production Company is the responsible party and has contracted ES & H as the oil spill response organization. Three-thousand feet of hard boom and 9,000 feet of 18-inch absorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill.

Pollution investigators from Sector New Orleans conducted an overflight, Tuesday, with ES & H and reported the majority of the discharge was contained inside the north end of Bull Bay in front of the facility.

The well has been manually shut in.

“The Coast Guard continues to oversee the cleanup operations and work with the stakeholders to minimize impacts to the environment caused from this discharge,” said Capt. John Arenstam, deputy commander of Sector New Orleans.

Currently on scene are 15 response personnel from both Sector New Orleans and ES & H, as well as two 26-foot response boats, one 30-foot barge boat, one airboat and two drum skimmers provided by ES & H.

No injuries were reported.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.

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