GULF OF MEXICO (WLOX) - The U.S. Coast Guard and federal agencies continue to respond to an oil spill off the coast of Louisiana that reportedly dumped 672,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
The oil discharged from a damaged LLOG Exploration Company pipeline about 40 miles south of Venice, LA, according to a news release from the Coast Guard.
The spill was first reported Friday, Oct. 13. LLOG initially reported spill estimates between 333,900 and 392,700 gallons.
The news release says the oil is projected to drift to the southwest and not impact the shoreline. The Coast Guard says no recoverable oil has been detected, and it's unlikely any will be recoverable because of the depth of the leak and the high pressure at which the oil was released.
The Coast Guard, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are working to locate and respond to any oil that reaches the surface.
"While the reported discharge amount is very significant, we are confident in the calculations completed by the LLOG and NOAA scientists," said Cmdr. Heather Mattern from U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Morgan City, Louisiana. "Additionally, the lack of any recoverable oil identified by over flights and subsea inspections conducted throughout the past week supports this explanation."
According to the Coast Guard, the oil leaked from a pipeline that lies on the ocean floor, about 5,000 feet below the surface. Investigators believe the high pressure that pushed the oil through a small opening caused the oil to break down into smaller particles and disperse into deep-water currents before reaching the surface.