Tow boat smacks into New Orleans oil well, causes new spill

Oil on the ground near New Orleans.

There's still plenty of oil on the ground around New Orleans, thanks to the BP spill. Now there's a new gusher at Mud Lake. (Photo Credit: CC BY dsb nola/Flickr)

The BP oil spill disaster will continue to affect local economies around the Gulf of Mexico for many years, and the environment will require decades of recovery. Now the Associated Press reports that New Orleans is back in the thick of an oil slick thanks to an errant tow boat called the Pere Ana C. The boat is said to have struck a wellhead in Louisiana marshland. Oil is currently shooting 20 feet into the air, Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser told MSNBC.

The well is south of New Orleans

The gushing oil well is located in an inland waterway along the border between Plaquemines Parish and Jefferson Parish, approximately 65 miles south of New Orleans. The area is a marsh not accessible via roads. Recovery workers had already been working in nearby Barataria Bay, an ecologically sensitive coastal estuary where waves of oil had entered from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The owner of the newly damaged well is currently unknown. However, according to Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts, the amount of oil gushing out from the Pere Ana C. collision is considerable. A specific estimate has yet to be made, and the specific method of recovery that will be used is also unknown at this time, as the area is only accessible by boat. Some officials are concerned that in addition to oil, natural gas may be leaking, as gas clouds were reported in the area.

Pere Ana C. struck before dawn near Mud Lake

Mud Lake was the approximate location of the Pere Ana C. collision early Tuesday morning. After the accident, the Coast Guard ship was moved to the LaRose area. No injuries resulting from the crash were recorded. Reports from various media sources indicate that local authorities are currently in the process of searching for someone who can go in and stop the new oil spill. It’s unknown whether expense of the cleanup will approach what has already been spent by BP for local cleanup following Deepwater Horizon.

Sources:

Associated Press

MSNBC.com

Remember when BP blocked media access to cleanup workers?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZHnStD690U

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