Talos Energy Inc. is working with state and federal authorities to identify the owner of an oil pipeline that appears to be leaking in Louisiana state waters.

Talos asset map

The Houston-based independent exploration and production (E&P) company on Tuesday said it continued to lead the efforts to contain and control the oil release, which likely occurred following Hurricane Ida on Aug. 29. The Category 4 storm crashed ashore near Port Fourchon, LA, packing maximum sustained winds near 150 mph on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

As a prior lessee of Bay Marchand Block 5, Talos was initially notified of the release observed on Aug. 31. The company initiated its response team and vessels began to arrive on location the following day to conduct oil containment and recovery operations with booms and skimmers.

Over the Labor Day weekend, a lift boat equipped with a dive spread arrived, and divers were deployed to investigate potential sources of the release. By Monday, response personnel had installed a containment dome on the affected pipe, which allowed for the recovery of the oil spilled and its transfer to surface vessels.

“Our team is doing everything possible to spearhead a fast, effective and safe containment and clean-up,” said Senior Vice President John Spath, who runs Production Operations.

Talos conducted both physical inspections and subsea sonar scans that confirmed its assets were not the source or cause of the release. Several non-Talos owned subsea pipelines that were likely impacted by Ida were observed, including a 12-inch diameter non-Talos owned pipeline that appears to be the source of the release.

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“Although the spill was unrelated to our operations, it was important to mobilize and identify the source and to contain the release to reduce safety and environmental risks,” Spath said. “…Talos is committed to establishing containment and control of the release.”

Talos is working with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and Louisiana state officials to identify the owner of the line. It also is continuing to collaborate with USCG and other state and federal officials to receive approval to initiate permanent repair of the line. “A timeline for repair operations is still being determined,” the company said.

Surface evidence of the release has “significantly diminished,” according to Talos, and there have been no observed impacts to shoreline or wildlife. The company indicated this has been confirmed by USCG visual surveillance.

Talos, which ceased production from the block in 2017, subsequently isolated all Talos wells from the producing reservoir. All Talos pipeline infrastructure was removed by 2019.Talos that same year nabbed a bundle of offshore assets worth $640 million to build its Gulf of Mexico producing portfolio and exploration prospects in U.S. waters. The E&P also is a 25% stakeholder in BP plc’s Puma West prospect offshore Louisiana, which announced a discovery in April. The well in Green Canyon Block 821 is operated and half-owned by BP. Chevron U.S.A. Inc. also has a 25% stake. Talos also develops leaseholds offshore Mexico.