September 24, 2021

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The photo shows a black slick in the water near a Gulf oil rig after

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Port Forchon, Louisiana (AP) —Aerial survey images released and reviewed by the U.S. Marine and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday show that the photo looks like a mile-long oil slick near the offshore rig in the Gulf of Mexico after hurricane Ida. Shows what you see in. By Associated Press.

Government images also show Louisiana’s port facilities, oil refineries, and shipyards on a stormy path, along with additional photos taken by AP from a helicopter on Tuesday. Bayou.

State and federal regulators said Wednesday that they were unable to reach the area due to the harsh conditions in the area.

The NOAA photo shows a black slick floating in a bay near a large rig with the name Enterprise Offshore Drilling on the heliport. The Houston-based company did not respond to requests for comment by phone or email on Wednesday.

An aerial photograph taken by NOAA on Tuesday also shows a significant flood to the large Phillips 66 Alliance refinery along the Mississippi River, just south of New Orleans. In some sections of the refinery, you can see the rainbow glow on the surface of the water towards the river.

Phillips 66 spokesman Bernard Faras was asked on Monday for reports of a levee failure near a refinery, stating that the facility had “some water” and emphasized that it had been shut down before the storm. bottom. When asked about potential environmental hazards from the facility on Tuesday, Faras introduced a statement on the company’s website to reporters, “focusing on ensuring the safety and well-being of employees and the surrounding area. I have. “

After the AP sent a photo of Phillips 66 on Wednesday, Faras showed what looked like a massive flood and underwater oil at the refinery, and the company said, “Causes in some flooded areas of the Alliance refinery. I was able to confirm that I had found an unknown luster, “he admitted by email. “

“At this point, the luster seems to be secured and contained on the refinery grounds,” Faras said Wednesday night. “A cleanup crew is on the scene. The incident was reported to the appropriate regulatory agency at the time of discovery.”

Faras didn’t respond when asked if a leak was reported after the AP sent a photo of the company four hours ago.

Philips put up an Alliance refinery for sale last week because of poor market conditions before the storm hit.

After all, the seven Louisiana refineries remained closed on Wednesday. Together, they account for about 9% of the total refining capacity of the United States, according to the US Department of Energy. Several refineries on the Mississippi River have reported damage to the dock due to barges that broke during the storm.

Environmental Protection Agency spokesman Jenna Durant reports serious spills and other environmental threats after a Category 4 storm landed in Port Forcheon on Sunday at 240 mph (150 mph). He said he had not received it.

Three days after the storm passed, Durant said Wednesday that EPA personnel had not yet been deployed in the devastated areas south of New Orleans. When asked if EPA staff were checking aerial photographs taken by federal aircraft in the disaster area, Durant said the images were not provided to authorities.

The aerial photographs reviewed by AP NOAA website..

After the AP sent a photo of the oil slick to the EPA on Wednesday, government spokesman Nick Conger reported 26 spills or spills in the storm zone on the US Coast Guard-operated National Response Center hotline. He received the call but said there was no guarantee of EPA compliance. ..

Conger reiterated that individuals or organizations responsible for the release or spill of pollutants need to notify the federal government.

AP also provided a photo of the oil slick to the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, which regulates offshore drilling in state waters. Spokesman Patrick Courreges confirmed that authorities had received an informal report on the luster of oil in the waters south of Port Fourchon, but regulators “currently do not have the ability to get there.” Stated.

The U.S. Department of Safety and Environment Enforcement, which regulates offshore oil and gas platforms, announced that about half of the 560 manned rigs in the bay had been evacuated before the hurricane arrived. The crew had just returned little by little by Wednesday, and it was unclear if the Enterprise Offshore Rig was staffed.

The bureau’s public relations staff did not respond on Wednesday after the AP sent a photo of the Gulf black slick asking if there were any reports of the spill.

Both state and federal environmental regulators said emergency response to Aida was hampered by road blockages, bridge spills, power outages, and lack of communications. In many parts of the region, both landline and mobile services remained offline on Wednesday.

“I think most institutions are now involved in the entire” fog of war. ” We need far more places than we can, “Courreges wrote in an email. “For now, it’s not easy to deal with things.”

Directly hit by the storm, Port Forcheon is the leading service hub for hundreds of oil and gas rigs offshore. The port also includes oil terminals and pipelines, which account for about 90% of the oil and gas production from the Gulf.

Photos taken by AP from a helicopter chartered on Tuesday, and NOAA images, show extensive damage to vast facilities, including sunken ships, collapsed structures, and over 12 large overturned fuel storage tanks. ..

The wind of Aida, the equivalent of an EF3 tornado, peeled off the roof of a large steel-framed building in the harbor and knocked down a metal street lamp. Trucks, cranes and shipping containers were piled up in a jumbled pile.

Chett Chiasson, secretary-general of the Greater Lafourche Port Commission, told AP late Tuesday that Port Fourchon-based companies are likely to enter a long recovery phase. He said the top priority was to clear the roads and get rid of the sunken ships so that the boats could navigate the harbor safely.


The Associated Press investigative journalist Michael Beesecker reported from Washington. Contributed by Associated Press reporter Matthew Daly in Washington and David Koenig in Dallas.


Follow Biesecker at


Contact AP’s Global Research Team [email protected]..

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