Incident Responses for February 2022

Posted Fri, 03/11/2022 - 13:33
An aerial image of oiling along a shoreline.
On Feb. 1, a fishing vessel reportedly sunk 1 nautical mile off the coast of Marshfield, Massachusett. The 55-foot purse seine vessel sank with an estimated 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board. The Coast Guard observed a silver sheen within the New Inlet and North River area during an overflight on the morning of Feb. 2. Image credit: U.S. Coast Guard.

Every month OR&R’s Emergency Response Division provides scientific expertise and services to the U.S. Coast Guard on everything from running oil spill trajectories to model where the spill may spread, to possible effects on wildlife and fisheries and estimates on how long the oil may stay in the environment.

This month OR&R responded to 12 incidents in February, including oil discharges, grounded vessels, and other pollution-related incidents.  

Here are some of February's notable incidents:

Discharge of Crude Oil at Liquid Oxygen Plant in Mud Lake, Louisiana

On Feb. 8, the U.S. Coast Guard notified NOAA of a crude oil discharge from a 400 barrel tank near Mud Lake, Louisiana that occurred on Feb. 4. The Coast Guard conducted a site assessment and it’s believed that heavy winds and rain allowed the crude oil to be transported into the surrounding waterway and nearby marsh area. 

The estimated area affected was about 400 feet long by 100 feet wide, with an estimated discharge of between 5 and 10 barrels (210-420 gallons) of oil. An overflight on Feb. 8 showed a dark area of oil around the facility and a partial loss of containment. The Coast Guard asked NOAA for trajectory support for the oil outside of containment, as well as a report on the resources at risk in the area. 

Satellite Imagery Detects Oil Anomaly at Inactive Well Platform 55 Miles Offshore Louisiana

On Feb. 11, NOAA received a marine pollution surveillance report for the Ship Shoal 291 area, an offshore lease block in the Gulf of Mexico 55 miles off the coast of Louisiana indicating an oil anomaly of about 24.18 square kilometers. 

The slick was emanating from an oil facility later determined to be associated with the Mon Forte Exploration facility, an unmanned, inactive well platform. According to the Coast Guard, the discharge was composed primarily of well completion fluids. The amount of oil discharged is unknown and assessment is ongoing. The well is reported to be secured. 

Here is the complete list of last month’s incidents, click on the links to find out more: