U.S. probing nearly 350 reports of oil spills in wake of Hurricane Ida

The Coast Guard has been conducting flyovers off the coast of Louisiana looking for spills. It is providing information to federal, state and local authorities responsible for cleaning the sites.

A bent stop sign in a storm damaged neighborhood after Hurricane Ida

Houston -The U.S. Coast Guard on Mondaysaid it was probing nearly 350 reports of oil spills in andalong the U.S. Gulf of Mexico in the wake of Hurricane Ida. Hurricane Ida's 150 mile-per-hour (240 kph) winds wreaked havoc on offshore oil production platforms and onshore oil andgas processing plants. About 88% of the region's offshore oil production remains shut and more than 100 platforms unoccupied after the storm made landfall on Aug. 29.

The Coast Guard has been conducting flyovers off the coast of Louisiana looking for spills. It is providing information to federal, state and local authorities responsible for cleaning the sites. Flights on Sunday found evidence of a new leak from anoffshore well and reported another leak responsible for amiles-long streak of oil was no longer active. A third report ofoil near a drilling platform could not be confirmed, it said. Offshore oil producer Talos Energy Inc, which hired divers and a cleanup crew to respond to an oil spill in Bay Marchand, said old pipelines damaged during the storm wereapparently responsible. The source of the Bay Marchand leak remains unknown, saidCoast Guard spokesman Lieutenant John Edwards.

A Coast Guard-led team "will be looking at all potential sources in order toensure any future risk is mitigated," he said. The spill off the coast of Port Fourchon, Louisiana, had decreased substantially since it was first discovered last week,Talos said. The company is not the owner of the pipelines andhad ceased production operations in the area four years ago,said spokesman Brian Grove.

An offshore well belonging to S2 Energy was discharging oilabout five miles (8 km) away from the Bay Marchand site, theCoast Guard said. The company told the Coast Guard it hassecured the wellhead and it was no longer discharging oil. S2 did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

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