A satellite image shows an oil slick following Hurricane Ida near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, U.S., August 31, 2021. NOAA/Handout via REUTERS
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  • The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by Hurricane Ida is traced back to block four of the Bay Marchand facility in Louisiana
  • Talos Energy, which owns the pipeline, denies responsibility but is funding a dive team to assess damages
  • The energy sector sees a temporary boost as 46 per cent of the evacuated sites reopen with reduced outputs

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by Hurricane Ida has been traced back to block four of the Bay Marchand facility in Louisiana.

NSYE-listed Talos Energy, which owns the pipeline, denied responsibility but is funding a dive team that is focused on finding the exact specifications and cause of the oil slick. The company claims they shut the pipelines at block five in 2017 and removed the related infrastructure by 2019.

Despite these claims, divers have discovered two open 10 centimetres pipelines which are apparently abandoned and one piece of broken 30 centimetres wide pipeline which Talos claimed did not belong to them.

The oil slick was discovered roughly three kilometres off the Port Fourchon facility. It has since travelled 19 kilometres up the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane havoc

Last week Hurricane Ida ravaged through the east coast of the US, hitting Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The death toll is estimated at around 60 with numbers expected to rise as cleaning crews continue.

Hurricane Ida was one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to hit the US with predicted damages of between US$70 million (A$94.1 million) and US$80 million (A$107.6 million) according to AccuWeather Founder and CEO Dr Joel N Myers.

Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality spokesman Greg Langley said the oil spill was still under investigation with no certainty of the cause or amount of oil that was spilt.

The energy sector saw a slight boost when 46 per cent of the previously evacuated coastal facilities reopened with a reduced production capacity. The rest remained shut to assess damages and manage repairs.

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