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Shell: No oil expected to reach shore

More than 2,000 barrels of oil released last week in the Gulf of Mexico.

By
Daniel J. Graeber
Shell says it's spilled more than 2,000 barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, but expects no shoreline impact from the release. Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard District 8.
Shell says it's spilled more than 2,000 barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, but expects no shoreline impact from the release. Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard District 8.

NEW ORLEANS, May 16 (UPI) -- Recovery is ongoing and oil spilled from the Glider field in the U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico is moving west with no shoreline impact expected, Shell said.

Shell last week estimated around 2,000 barrels of oil were released into the U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico about 97 miles from the southern tip of Louisiana. Joint efforts as of late Sunday have recovered about 1,230 barrels of an oil-water mixture.

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"The sheen has maintained a westerly trajectory with no shoreline impacts anticipated at this time, and Shell has approval from the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement to begin repairs at Glider," the company said in a statement.

Shell said Friday a pipeline associated with the Glider field that was tied to a drilling platform in the area was identified as the source of the release. The company said the line was isolated and work was under way to ensure there were no additional discharge points.

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The BSEE had no updates on its joint response operation other than to say it confirmed Shell's findings that the leak was tied to an underwater pipeline.

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Production at Glider is shut down, though nearby operations have resumed. The company said that, so far, it's not found any wildlife affected by the spill.

The incident comes roughly six years after the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico. BP released 3.2 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 following the string of failures that led to the collapse of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. The incident left 11 rig workers dead and resulted in one of the worst environmental disasters for the industry.

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Several failures at the Macondo well beneath the Deepwater Horizon triggered what the industry calls a blowout.

Shell said the incident at the Glider field was not associated with a well control incident. No injuries were reported.

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