Taylor Energy’s Never Ending Oil Leak | Gulf of Mexico | 2004 – 2015

Feds Helped Taylor Energy Keep The Story Secret

Eternal Gulf Oil Spill

Not too far from the infamous BP Deep Horizon oil spill is the wreck of a Taylor Energy oil rig that has been spewing crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 11 years. Former platform 23051 was taken out by an underwater mudslide during Hurricane Ivan in 2004, collapsing the rig and opening up the wells.

Since that time and up until this year, the company’s lawyers have managed to keep the details of the perpetual spill* secret with the support of the Federal Government. The company and the government they pay for claimed they were protecting trade secrets. What might these secrets be? How to create an oil spill that you can’t stop? A lot of competitors would love to put their hands on that data.

An Associated Press investigation in April 2015 concluded that the company was kind of lowballing** the extent of the leak. That prompted the Coast Guard to work on a new estimate, which turns out to be 20 times what the company was claiming. Can you imagine?

In September, Taylor agreed to a settlement to a lawsuit brought by Waterkeeper Alliance. One of the provisions is that the company will have to hold public forums to explain the hole thing to the citizens.

A fact sheet developed by the Interior Department indicates that the oil could continue leaking for up to a century unless the break is plugged.  The satellite assisted organization SkyTruth estimates that 300,000 and 1.4 million gallons of oil have been spilled.

The company continues to maintain that no further remediation is needed.

[See our global update on petrochemical screw ups map here]
[For a detailed list of petrochemical explosions, spills and perps, feel free to examine our archives]

* Not really perpetual. Perhaps only a century.

** Lying

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