Tug hits well and sends oil spewing
NEW ORLEANS — A wellhead in southeastern Louisiana was spewing a mist of oil and gas up to 100 feet into the air after being hit by a tugboat early Tuesday morning, officials said. It is at least the third unrelated oil leak in the area since the Deepwater Horizon spill began.
The well is about 65 miles south of New Orleans in Barataria Bay, which is surrounded by wildlife-rich wetlands and was a fertile area for fishermen, shrimpers and oystermen before the BP spill. By Tuesday afternoon, a reddish brown sheen 50 yards by a mile long was spotted near the well, according to a spokeswoman for the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard said the well was owned by Cedyco, a company based in Houston.
The wellhead burst early Tuesday after being hit by a tugboat, the Pere Ana C, that was pushing a dredge barge, Captain Buford Berry, though details were still being investigated.
A cleanup crew from a company in nearby Houma that was already involved in the Deepwater Horizon spill response was sent to the area. A Coast Guard strike force team was also sent.
About 6,000 feet of boom was placed around the spill, and the Coast Guard was surveying the scene from the air.
The Coast Guard said it would use the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, financed by a tax on oil companies, to pay for the response.
Oil spill in creek flows into Michigan river
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Crews were working Tuesday to contain and clean up more than 800,000 gallons of oil that poured into a creek and flowed into the Kalamazoo River in southern Michigan, coating birds and fish.
Authorities in Battle Creek and Emmett Township warned residents about the strong odor from the oil, which leaked Monday from a 30-inch pipeline built in 1969 that carries about 8 million gallons of oil per day from Griffith, Ind., to Sarnia, Ontario.
Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge Inc.'s affiliate Enbridge Energy Partners LP of Houston estimated that about 819,000 gallons of oil spilled into Talmadge Creek before the company stopped the flow.
The cause of spill was under investigation.