The Taylor oil spill is the oldest in the country and now has emitted over 1 million gallons of oil.
More than one million gallons of crude oil have been collected from the longest-running oil spill in U.S. history, located off Louisiana’s coast at a Taylor Energy platform that collapsed during Hurricane Ivan way back in 2004, the U.S. Coast Guard announced Tuesday. But while the amount of oil collected so far is eye-popping, efforts must continue: The damaged wells at the platform around 20 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River are still leaking. The Coast Guard said a containment system built and operated by Belle Chasse firm Couvillion Group “continues to collect an average of 900 gallons of oil per day.” A total of 1,016,929 gallons had been collected as of Tuesday.nola.com
The spill occurred in 2004 and it took 15 years to begin the containment.
Oil has been captured and removed from the site since April 2019. “The near elimination of the surface sheen and collection and removal of more than one million gallons of oil from the site over the previous three years is a major milestone in the Coast Guard’s efforts to contain the MC-20 oil spill that has affected the waters off the Gulf Coast for years,” said Coast Guard Capt. Kelly Denning, referring to Mississippi Canyon Block 20, where the spill is located. “Though the containment system is considered a great success, the federal government is exploring all available response options, including to properly decommission the impacted wells on site.” “Though the containment system is considered a great success, the federal government is exploring all available response options, including to properly decommission the impacted wells on site.”
There is now a settlement to plug the well and stop the leaking.
A settlement announced in December was aimed at finally plugging the wells and ending a saga that involved one of Louisiana’s most prominent families. Company founder Patrick Taylor started the firm in 1979; his wife, Phyllis Taylor, took the reins as chief executive after his death a few months after Ivan in 2004. For years, Taylor’s business made him the wealthiest man in Louisiana; his wife became the wealthiest woman in the state for several years after his death. The Taylors have been widely known for their philanthropy, including their effort to start a popular college scholarship program. Less known, until now, is the amount of oil the Taylors’ ruined platform has leaked into the Gulf over the past 18 years. The settlement announcement said the company would transfer to the Interior Department a $432.5 million trust fund that it set up to pay for capping and plugging the 28 wells, decommissioning what’s left of the platform and cleaning up any contaminated soils. Taylor Energy also agreed to pay more than $43 million in civil penalties, federal costs for removing the platform and wells and expenses for restoring or replacing natural resources such as wildlife, fisheries or wetlands contaminated by oil.
There were other aspects to the settlement.
Beyond that, it had committed to dropping its lawsuits against the federal government, including a challenge to the Coast Guard’s decision to install the spill containment system. Under the terms announced in December, the company also had to drop its challenge to the Coast Guard’s denial of Taylor’s request for $353 million — reimbursement for the company’s spending on fighting the leak and plugging the wells. The settlement as announced would signal the end of Taylor Energy.
I am sure this will be the first of other stories as it is a developing story as I write. I am sure the Taylor’s are glad to end this 18 year saga.