As much as 9,000 barrels — nearly 400,000 gallons — of crude oil flooded into the Gulf of Mexico 40 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana on Friday according to the AP. While NBC tweeted Saturday saying the Coast Guard had secured the leaking pipe, another oil leak off the Louisiana coast is a grim reminder of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon catastrophe.
The Coast Guard reported three ‘sheens’ of surface oil after flying over the affected area on Saturday.
The pipeline is owned by LLOG Explorations Offshore, LLC which has been drilling in the Gulf since 1977. It’s not without incident, including a leak at a well in 2003 and a fire in 2004. LLOG has drilled over fifty wells in the Gulf since 2002, one of which at the site of the Deepwater Horizon spill.
Additionally, LLOG currently is one of the defendants in wetlands damage lawsuits set to see trial in 2019 in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.
For a company facing such a lawsuit, and one building in the shadow of Deepwater Horizon, a leak like this is a warning against carelessness when it comes to endangering the environment.
While regulators have successfully prevented catastrophic spills like the three million barrels Deepwater Horizon poured into the gulf, three large spills were reported in 2016.
Lauded for it’s successes, LLOG has been called the top independent oil producer in the country. And CEO Scott Gutterman has committed much of his personal wealth to continuing to see more success for his business by donating to politicians who deny the science of global climate change.
“Our commitment is to not allow such an event to occur again,” said Rick Fowler, LLOG’s vice-president for deep-water projects, about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. “LLOG staff keeps the memory of what happened … fresh in our minds throughout our operations, both planning and execution.”
No injuries have been reported.
Katelyn Kivel is a lesbian, journalist and political scientist in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.