An estimated 88,200 gallons of oil were reportedly released from a Shell subsea well-head flow line in the Gulf of Mexico, some 90 miles south of Timbalier Island, Louisiana on Thursday morning, according to the US Coast Guard.
“A Shell helicopter observed an oil sheen near the Glider subsea tieback system at the Brutus tension-leg platform,” Shell said in a statement, adding that the likely cause of the sheen is a release of oil from subsea infrastructure and, in response, Shell has isolated the leak and shut-in production at both fields.
As there are no drilling activities at Brutus, Shell concluded that this is not a well control incident.
The company is determining the exact cause of the release by inspecting the subsea equipment and flowlines in the Glider field.
Response vessels, including aircraft, have been mobilized in the event the discharge is recoverable.
“Marine Spill Response Corporation and Clean Gulf Associates have been contracted by Shell to begin clean up and containment operations,” the USCG said, adding that they are conducting an aerial assessment of the site and surrounding areas.
There were no injuries reported, and the incident is currently under investigation.