New oil spill 'secured' in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico's Barataria Bay

By Phaedra Friend Troy

The US Coast Guard reported that the new oil and natural gas spill in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico offshore Louisiana has been “secured.”

No more oil or natural gas is leaking into the waters of Barataria Bay offshore Louisiana.

In the early morning hours of July 27, the tug boat Pere AnnaC struck the wellhead and an associated pipeline while it was pushing the dredge barge Captain Buford Berry. A mixture of oil, natural gas and water spewed up to 100 feet in the air from the wellhead and associated pipeline.

Houston-based Wild Well Control was contracted to cap the spill, and the blow-out experts began mobilizing to the spill site the next day.

To contain the oil spill, Wild Well Control pumped heavy drilling fluids into the wellbore to stop the flow of hydrocarbons from the well. Then a new valve was installed on top of the wellhead to permanently seal it.

Capping the well was estimated to take up to 12 days.

"The Unified Command was able to accomplish this in less than a week due to the fantastic cooperation between the federal, state and local officials and efforts of the contractors," said Capt. John Arenstam, the Coast Guard Federal on Scene Coordinator.

Owned and operated by Cedyco, the well was classified as “orphaned” by the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.

Currently, 60,200 feet of containment boom and 14,080 feet of sorbent boom have been deployed in an effort to corral the oil spill. Additionally, 213 personnel and 47 oil skimmers, boats and barges, mostly redeployed from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill efforts, have responded to this new oil spill.

Approximately 35 barrels of an oil/water mix have been recovered thus far.

The US Coast Guard enacted the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to provide monetary support to this oil spill effort. 

In other news last week, Wild Well Control was also contracted to contain a blown-out natural gas well in Pennsylvania that killed two oil services personnel.

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