Gulf of Mexico oil spill triggers BSEE panel investigation


NEW ORLEANS -- BSEE Gulf of Mexico Region Director Lars Herbst initiated a Panel Investigation Monday into an oil release from subsea infrastructure located about 40 mi southeast of Venice, La., in water 4,463 ft deep. The flowline release, which began Wednesday morning in an area identified as Mississippi Canyon 209, was reported by offshore oil and gas operator LLOG Exploration Offshore, LLC.

“BSEE places great emphasis on making certain all oil and gas operations on America’s Outer Continental Shelf are safe,” said Herbst. “This panel investigation is a critical step in ensuring BSEE determines the cause, or causes, of the incident and develops recommendations to prevent similar events from occurring in the future.”

The five-member panel is made up of inspectors, engineers and accident investigators. At the conclusion of their investigation, the panel will issue a report that will contain findings, make recommendations and identify any potential violations for consideration by BSEE enforcement staff.

LLOG reported to BSEE that they isolated the pipeline leak and stopped the leak on Thursday morning and estimated the unaccounted for oil volume to be in the range of 7,950 to 9,350 bbl. BSEE inspectors traveled to LLOG’s Delta House platform Friday to begin an initial inspection and investigation and the BSEE panel will continue coordinating with LLOG and the U.S. Coast Guard to complete the investigation.

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