Chevron Refinery crews work to cleanup oil after spill

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Multiple crews were in Bayou Casotte all day Tuesday, working to cleanup oil-stained water from a Chevron refinery spill hours earlier.

"A little before 4 AM, a guy who was doing inspection of the wharf area saw some sheen in the water," Government and Public Affairs Manager Alan Sudduth said.

That sheen turned out to be oil coming from a broken pipeline. Chevron's Alan Sudduth said the leaky pipe was shut off, but more than 1,000 gallons of oil had already spilled in the water.

"We would anticipate days before this process is finally complete," Sudduth said about the cleanup. "We will also want to make sure that throughout this process that we have not had any significant environmental impacts. We are continuing to monitor what we call the sensitive area on our property."

To trap all the heavy oil and get it out of the water, skimmers and vacuum trucks were deployed, and hundreds of yards of absorbent oil boom were also put in the water.

"It is localized to our wharf area, so there is no danger to drinking water, there is no danger to community. So far, we have had no indication that the oil has affected our wildlife here in our area or any of the marsh areas," Sudduth said.

Sudduth said it is a little too early to tell how the spill will affect business until the cleanup operation is complete.

"I will tell you, that this is refinery process 330,000 barrels per day, so if you take that into consideration that we lost 45 barrels. I can't imagine it having an impact on supply and demand," Sudduth said. "But again our main focus is our Bayou Casotte."

The Coast Guard was also out monitoring today's cleanup operation. Sudduth said Chevron will work closely with both the Coast Guard and MDEQ to make sure the company is meeting all necessary requirements.

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