A 'Secret' 14-Year-Long Oil Leak Might Become One Of The Worst Offshore Disasters In US History

A 'Secret' 14-Year-Long Oil Leak Might Become One Of The Worst Offshore Disasters In US History

NOAA


The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill back in 2010 has become the defining picture of the environmental perils associated with offshore oil drilling. But, away from the TV cameras and public outrage, a less-known oil spill is occurring on at this very moment, and it has the potential to even become one among the worst in US history.


The "Taylor leak" began hemorrhaging oil into the Gulf Of Mexico about 16 km (10 miles) off the coast of Louisiana back in 2004, after Hurricane Ivan had caused a massive submarine landslide. 14 years on, with only nine of the 25 leaking wells plugged, it is still spewing 10s of thousands of gallons of oil into the Gulf each day.


The quantities of oil are a matter of contention and secrecy, though most estimates suggest it'll become one of the worst offshore disasters in US history, according to The Washington Post.


A significant investigation by the Associated Press (AP) in 2015 found that the oil leak was far worse – over 20 times worse regarding oil quantity – than Taylor Energy had initially reported. According to a recent AP report, a court filing submitted by Federal government lawyers suggest between 37,000 to 113,000 liters (8,140 to 24,860 gallons) of oil is leaking every day from various wells around a drilling platform. The federal lawyers cite a report by a scientist who studied satellite photos of the area and sampled oil at the site.


The Deepwater Horizon oil spill let 134 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over 87 days. NOAA scientists concluded that Deepwater Horizon killed thousands of marine mammals and sea turtles, in addition to contaminating their habitats.


Notably, the public only discovered about the leak in 2010 when people who investigated the Deepwater Horizon oil spill noticed an odd oil spill in satellite photos of the area. They downplayed the spill’s scale and claimed that pictures of the leak were misleading, even after it came to light.


Taylor Energy is now defunct. Four years after the company’s founder died back in 2004, the company agreed to sell off all its energy assets to Samsung C&T Corporations and Korea National Oil Corporation. A $666 million trust was set up to pay for leak response work; but, there's now a legal dispute over the remaining $423 million, that's been left unspent.


Meanwhile, the oil continues to flow.


A 'Secret' 14-Year-Long Oil Leak Might Become One Of The Worst Offshore Disasters In US History A 'Secret' 14-Year-Long Oil Leak Might Become One Of The Worst Offshore Disasters In US History Reviewed by Katerina Pap on 8:53 AM Rating: 5

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