Monday, November 26, 2018

Taylor Energy Order to Clean Up Act

US Person posted recently about an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico that has the potential to be bigger than the Deepwater Horizon disaster. {30.10.18}A production platform that capsized after a submarine landslide has been leaking for fourteen years. The Coast Guard has now demanded that Taylor Energy Co., owner of the OCS lease, to clean up the spill or face fines of $40,000 day according to the Washington Post. The platform was destroyed during Hurricane Ivan in 2004; it has been leaking oil at an estimated rate of 700 barrels a day since then. That estimate is based on analysis by independent experts hired by the Justice Department for pending litigation against the Interior Department. Previous government estimates based on company supplied data put the amount at 55 barrels per day. Deepwater Horizon which was destroy by a blowout and subsequent fire spewed an estimated 4 million barrel of crude into the Gulf. The spill so far from the Taylor Energy ruins is now estimated at 1.5 to 3.5 million barrels.

Taylor was instructed to present a clean up plan by November 9th. It presented a plan on the 8th, but it was rejected by Interior in favor of a plan submitted by another contractor. Taylor has plugged eight of the 28 wells once connected to the platform that was pushed off its moorings by a landslide. Oil sheens are visible on the surface for miles. At one point they were mistaken as emanating from the Deepwater Horizon site to the north by disaster monitors. It was these oil slicks that lead environmentalists to the re-discovery of the leaks Taylor Energy sought to conceal or minimize. As reported by the Post, "[the] spill was hidden for years as the company and the Coast Guard declined to inform the public that it existed. Environmental groups that monitor the gulf were unaware that the broken wells were leaking for six years — until the catastrophic BP Deepwater oil spill in April 2010." Environmental groups brought suit against the government and Taylor for the concealment, which they allege is inconsistent with the provisions of the Clean Water Act, which provides for citizen participation in water policy.