U.S. Coast Guard investigating nearly 350 oil spill reports in wake of Hurricane Ida

The U.S. Coast Guard announced Monday it’s investigating almost 350 reports of oil spills in and along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico in the aftermath of the deadly Hurricane Ida.

Of note: The Coast Guard is establishing a pollution response team in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following the reports, per NOLA.com.

Driving the news: The Category 4 storm first made landfall on Aug. 29 with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph in Port Fourchon, Louisiana — a key oil industry hub and staging area.

Roughly 88% of offshore oil production in the region was closed and over 100 platforms were still not being used on Monday, Reuters notes.Among the reports the Coast Guard is investigating is a large oil spill first detected last week in Bay Marchand, two miles south of Port Fourchon, which has since reduced in size after containment efforts.

What’s happening: The Coast Guard said in a statement Monday that it has been conducting flyovers off the coast of southeastern Louisiana as part of its response to “multiple oil spills along Southeast Louisiana.”

Crews on Sunday detected an offshore well “belonging to S2 Energy was discharging oil” some five miles from the Bay Marchand site, said the Coast Guard, noting that the company had reported that it had “secured the wellhead and it is no longer discharging oil.”The Coast Guard noted that crews found “no active discharge” from an earlier leak that had previously left a miles-long trail of oil.

What they’re saying: Talos Energy, a Houston-based company that previously owned the Bay Marchand pipeline, where the leak was detected last week said after after hiring divers that an old broken pipeline was the likely source of the spill.

A spokesperson for Talos, which also paid for cleanup crews, told Reuters the company had “ceased production operations in the area four years ago.”S2 Energy could not immediately be reached for comment.

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