Owning Up?: Houston Company Reports a Five-Gallon Spill that Somehow Turns into a 100-Square-Mile Slick


Anglo-Suisse Offshore Partners has accepted responsibility for that “mystery slick” off Grand Isle. But before you give the Houston-based corporation too much credit for owning up, you should know that company officials initially denied responsibility but then reversed themselves admitting to a five-gallon release (no kidding) from one of its “non-producing” wells.

Well, those “five gallons” have somehow turned into what NASA satellite imagery shows is a 100-square-mile slick that is washing up on our beaches.

You really can’t make this stuff up: The Times-Picayune reports that “…in three reports to the Coast Guard since Friday, the company had reported that less than 5 gallons of crude had escaped. But state Wildlife and Fisheries agents traced the oil to the Anglo-Suisse well at its Platform E facility on Monday afternoon and found a crew on a boat trying to close in the well with a remotely operated submarine.”

Anglo-Suisse also says the well in question is one of several in an area roughly 20 miles west-southwest of Southwest Pass that the company is plugging for “permanent abandonment.” Company officials identified the well as non-producing and said it’s been “plugged” and “closely monitored” for six months. Apparently, it hasn’t been monitored closely enough.

Here’s the Times-Picayune article: http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2011/03/houston_company_accepts_respon.html

Here’s an update on the story from KATC: http://www.katc.com/news/new-oil-slick-in-coastal-louisiana/

© Smith Stag, LLC 2011 – All Rights Reserved

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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