MSU Port Arthur oversees recovery of ruptured well-head leak

PORT ARTHUR, Texas – Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur and other agencies are coordinating efforts to recover a ruptured well-head leak, which occured on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008 in Sabine Lake. On Nov. 18, the well owner, Ballard Exploration, had secured the leak that occurred when a tug and barge struck an inactive production well-head in Sabine Lake.

An estimated 840 gallons of oil was released into the waterway and approximately 770 gallons have been recovered or accounted for. Recovery efforts include the placement of 2,400 feet of boom and the mobilization of 14 boats, one aircraft and 55 response personnel. Although there are no threats to the public onshore, there still remains a light sheen in the area and the Coast Guard encourages marine traffic to stay clear.

Agencies and companies overseeing the joint recovery effort include: Texas General Land Office, Louisiana Oil Spill Coordination Office, Louisiana State Sheriff, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s scientific support staff, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Sabine National Wildlife Refuge and the well owner Ballard Exploration.

Coast Guard investigators indicated that the tug and barge sustained very minor damage from striking the well-head.

The Coast Guard is conducting an investigation of the incident.

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