Thanks to Shell oil company, a 2 mile by 13 mile sheen of oil is now visible in the sea about 97 miles off the Louisiana coast. This is a result of 88,200 gallons of crude oil leaking from the company’s pipeline that flows underwater, according to the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).
Reuters relays that the flow line was connected to four wells and Shell’s Brutus platform, which floats in seas that are about a half mile deep in the Green Canyon area of the Gulf. While it is believed that the sheen came from a release of oil from subsea infrastructure, authorities are still investigating the cause of the incident.
Activists aren’t letting the oil company off easy, however. Shell may have shut down all wells that flow to the Brutus platform and dispatched five boats to clean up oil that can be skimmed off the surface of the Gulf, but the recent leak has infuriated environmentalists. According to ABC News, they’re using the disaster as a prime example of why offshore drilling should be banned.
Said Michael Brune, the Sierra Club’s executive director, in a statement:
“It’s unacceptable that oil spills have been permitted to become the status quo in the Gulf. We have allowed the region to be perpetually treated as a sacrifice zone.”
Since 2012, there have been 147 spills and about 516,900 gallons of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico, according to the BSEE. The most catastrophic spill occurred in 2010 when a BP out-of-control well leaked for 87 days, leaking millions of gallons of oil into the ocean. Eleven workers were also killed in the accident when the blowout of the well caused the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig to explode and sink.
While scrutiny of offshore oil drilling has increased in recent years, little action has been taken to prevent further spills from happening. As a result, activists will be marching once again on Sunday in Washington D.C. to Washington, D.C. to demand an end to drilling.
Shell said no injuries resulted from the incident, clearly forgetting that oil spills result in a loss of marine wildlife and a decline in water quality. Will the Coast Guard do what it did during the BP oil spill and try to make this incident ‘disappear’ by spraying toxic chemical onto the oil so it sinks to the bottom of the ocean? Not if you share this article and make this news go viral.
Send a message that fracking and offshore oil drilling will not be tolerated, as leaks such as this one are wreak havoc on the environment.