You may not have heard about an old oil spill that’s continuing spilling for 14 years and more. Otherwise, in this era of green conscience, anybody who loves wildlife would urge the authorities to take New Year resolution of stopping oil spilling.
It is the time that you should know there was leakage of around 10,000 to 30,000 gallons of oil every day into the Gulf of Mexico from a sunken oil rig of Taylor Energy Company. From the mouth of the Mississippi, the location is about 12 miles in the south.
The spilling of oil started long back on September 15, 2004, when MC-20 Saratoga, the oil platform of Taylor energy got destroyed by Hurricane Ivan. The storm caused underwater mudslide that buried a cluster of wells due to the breaking of legs of the 550-foot-tall platform. The company fixed some of the 28 wells apart from adding three containment domes to control some of the pollutions caused by the damaged platforms but failed to stop all the leaks.
Taylor Energy leak could become the worst environmental disaster and one of the largest and longest-running oil spills in North America unless the oil spill stopped immediately. The rate of the oil leak at the Taylor Energy Co. well estimated at 10,500 gallons to 29,000 gallons of oil daily by new federal.
If the sunken rig can continue in this way next 100 years, an estimation of the leak from the site could be 150 million gallons of oil by now. It is close to the estimated 200 million gallons of the oil spill of the Deepwater Horizon in 2010.
Last year in November, the Coast Guard instructed Taylor Energy to work on a new containment plan to be implemented by a contractor. According to the administrative order of the Coast Guard, the new containment method “must eliminate the surface sheen and avoid the deficiencies associated with prior containment systems,” failing which fine up to $40,000 per day will be applicable.
As the full containment of the leaky wells could cost more than $1 billion, Taylor Energy disputes not only the new estimates of the leak but also cause of the appearance of chronic sheens stretched out for miles from the site of the well. Instead, the company tried to show the leak as nothing but a mere “trickle.”
The scientists employed by Taylor energy explained the cause of the sheens to be bubbling up of oil and gas from the oil-saturated seafloor, not the leaky wells. The company also claimed that sheens have never been documented to reach the shore, nor any large-scale damage caused to wildlife or fisheries.
According to NOLA, this slow unseen disaster could have been stopped some six years ago when Skytruth, an environmental group based in Shepherdstown, W. Va. and specialized in digital mapping and remote sensing, measured the oil sheen coming from the platform at over 20 miles long.
The Gulf Monitoring Consortium, consisting of Skytruth and other groups, estimated the rate of release between 100 and 400 gallons per day and urged on the immediate action of authorities. However, the U.S. authorities began an investigation of the pollution not until 2016.
The communications director for the Gulf Restoration Network, Dustin Renaud told NOLA, “The time to clean this up was 14 years ago. Taylor Energy has shown nothing but negligence all this time.”
The CEO of Ocean Conservancy, Janis Searles Jones, and Philippe Cousteau, from EarthEcho International, wrote in The Guardian that the thought of the spill continuing for decades is a “nightmare scenario that should terrify anyone who cares about the health of the wildlife and people who live along the Gulf coast.”
Taylor Energy still applying tricks claimed “containing the leak is unnecessary.” Just before Christmas NOLA reported, “The company filed a federal lawsuit in New Orleans asking the court to toss out a recent Coast Guard order to contain the leak.”
To anyone’s utter surprise, even this greatest oil leak issue could not stop pro-oil Trump administration in their attempt to open vast areas for offshore drilling.