Oil spill in Gulf: Largest since 2010

Kelsey Ruff, Social Media Manager

Notice a spike in gas prices recently? A tragedy in The Gulf of Mexico may be the cause. The largest oil spill in the gulf since Deepwater Horizon in 2010 took place last week. Over 330,000 gallons have been spilled, which was two times more than the original projections.

The Delta House spill took place 40 miles south of Venice, Louisiana. The cause of the spill, which took a while to confirm, was ultimately a fracture in the flowline jumper. A flowline jumper connects a manifold and a subsea tree, which carry the water, oil and gas from the reservoir.

LLOG Explorations, the company operating the pipeline, reported that “between 7,950 to 9,350 barrels of oil was released.” They are working alongside The Coast Guard, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to locate and clean up the oil that reaches the surface.

While the spill is the largest one in many years, compared to Deepwater Horizon, it will be easier to manage. Deepwater Horizon killed 11 people and spilled 100 million gallons. The massive scope of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was devastating to the ecosystem, which will not be the case with the recent spill. The Delta House rig is deep enough in the ocean that no oil will reach the shoreline.

Edward Overton, environmental sciences professor at Louisiana University says, “Way offshore, the oil had time to dissipate before it could cause lots of damage.” Because of this, thousands of birds and marine life will not wash up on the shore covered in oil.

“I’m sure there’s some impact associated with this spill out in the deep water, but I don’t think there was enough for the oil to sink,” Overton shared.

The Delta House oil spill may not be as devastating as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, but it is still damaging to the environment and wastes the already diminishing fossil fuel.