Coast Guard responds to oil spill in Gulf after Hurricane Ida

The U.S. Coast Guard said divers were being deployed Sunday to search for the source of a growing oil spill detected in the Gulf of Mexico following Hurricane Ida, per Reuters.

What’s happening: The Coast Guard is investigating the spill, which is believed to stem from an underwater source at an offshore drilling lease some two miles south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana, a key oil industry hub and staging area, reports AP, which notes the cleanup operation has begun.

An aerial survey image of the spill captured Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Photo: NOAA

A Coast Guard spokesperson said the source of the pollution is believed to be crude oil from an undersea pipeline owned by Houston-based oil and gas exploration company Talos Energy, per AP.Talos is investigating the leak’s cause, but said in a statement to news outlets that observations indicate the company’s assets are not the source.

What to watch: A Coast Guard spokesperson told Reuters that Talos had hired Clean Gulf Associates, which had put measures in place to minimize the environmental impact, and “contracted he private dive team” to find the slick’s source.

The Coast Guard and partner agencies would then begin recovery and source-control operations, he added.

What they’re saying: “Talos will continue to work closely with the U.S. Coast Guard and other state and federal agencies to identify the source of the release and coordinate a successful response,” Talos said in its media statement.

“The company’s top priorities are the safety of all personnel and the protection of the public and environment.”

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with to note the cleanup operation has begun, and with details of the private dive team, Clean Gulf Associates’ role in the response and to include NOAA’s photo.

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