Crude Oil Spill in Barataria Bay
The United States Coast Guard reports roughly 8 square miles of the Lake Grande Ecaille area, including a patch of wetlands, have been affected by the 4,200 gallons of crude oil that has spilled from an abandoned flow line in the Lake Washington oil field in Plaquemines Parish.
The leak in the pipeline, owned by Hilcorp Energy of Houston, has been stopped and contained. The Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s office says a malfunctioning valve led to an oil spill. Tuesday, July 26, Hilcorp released a statement, “The leak was immediately stopped and the spill has been contained. At this point, we are estimating the release to be between 30 to 100 barrels of oil.”
Environmental Safety and Health, an oil spill response organization, has been contracted by Hilcorp Energy to conduct clean-up operations. The Coast Guard, NOAA, the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinators Office and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are overseeing the spill response/clean-up efforts.
Hilcorp Alaska was recently fined $100,000 by the EPA to settle violations unrelated to the Barataria Bay spill. In February 2015, Hilcorp Alaska spilled nearly 10,000 gallons of crude oil and produced water from a leak in the bottom of a pipeline at the Milne Point field. The spill affected 40,000 square feet of Arctic tundra and gravel pad. The spill was initially reported as 4,000 gallons, and occurred from a relatively new pipeline.