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Ida: Cleanup boats at the scene of large Gulf oil-spill

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, cleanup crews responded to an oil spillage in the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Ida.

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Ida: Cleanup boats at the scene of large Gulf oil-spill

The ongoing spillage appears to have come from an underwater source at an offshore drilling lease located about two miles (three km) south of Port Fourchon in Louisiana. The reported location is near the site of a miles-long brown and black oil slick visible in aerial photos first published Wednesday by The Associated Press.

The growing oil slick has not yet reached Louisiana's shorelines, but it appears that it has remained at sea.

Coast Guard spokesperson Lt. John Edwards stated that the source of pollution was in Bay Marchand Block 4 and was believed to be crude oil from an underground pipeline owned by Talos Energy.

Brian L. Grove, spokesperson for the Houston-based energy firm, stated that Clean Gulf Associates was hired to handle the spillage, even though it believes it isn't responsible.

Clean Gulf Associates, an oil-spill reaction cooperative that assists the energy exploration and production industries, responded to the emergency on Wednesday. To prevent further oil contamination, the workers placed a boom around the area. The vessels of the company are equipped with skimmers capable of removing oil from water. However, the Coast Guard stated that only 42 gallons (roughly 160 liters) have been removed.

Talos is currently investigating the cause of this leak. Grove provided a statement saying that field observations indicated that the company's assets were not the source. Talos previously leased Bay Marchand Block 5 but stopped production in 2017. The company plugged all its wells and removed all the pipeline infrastructure by 2019.

Talos stated that two 95-foot (29 meter) response vessels were dispatched to the site to conduct oil recovery operations. To help identify the source of the oil spillage, a lift boat that can conduct dive operations was also mobilized. It is expected to arrive Saturday.

According to the statement, "Talos will continue working closely with the U.S. Coast Guard as well as other federal agencies in order to determine the source of the release" and coordinate a successful response. "The safety of all employees and the protection and enjoyment of the environment are our top priorities."

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