A Hilcorp Energy pipeline spilled 4,200 gallons of crude oil near Lake Grande Ecaille, LA, part of Barataria Bay and about 8 miles west of Empire, the U.S. Coast Guard officials said Tuesday.
The abandoned flow line ended up secured Monday after the discovery of the spill, said officials with Houston-based Hilcorp.
The leak occurred in an abandoned flow line in the Lake Washington oil field in Plaquemines Parish, the company said in a statement.
“The leak was immediately stopped and the spill has been contained,” the statement said. “At this point, we are estimating the release to be between 30 to 100 barrels of oil.”
A barrel of oil contains 42 gallons, so that would mean the company estimated between 1,260 and 4,200 gallons of oil.
“We have begun cleanup operations and will continue to coordinate with state and federal agencies on the response,” the statement said. We are currently investigating the cause of the leak, however, it is too early at this point to speculate regarding a cause.”
Officials said about 8 square miles, including a patch of wetlands, suffered from the spill. A spill response contractor Monday deployed long booms to contain part of the spilled oil seen around a platform in the area.
“Environmental Safety and Health, an oil spill response organization, has been contracted by Hilcorp Energy to conduct clean-up operations,” Coast Guard officials said.
The Coast Guard, NOAA, the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinators Office and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries also were overseeing the response to the spill.
The Coast Guard’s Air Station New Orleans has dispatched air crews to conduct aerial assessments of the site and surrounding areas, the Coast Guard said. The cause of the incident is under investigation.