Last Modified: Thursday, May 17, 2012 8:52 PM
On Tuesday, Hunt Oil Co. unintentionally released 100 to 140 barrels of natural gas condensate from a production platform two miles off the coast of western Cameron Parish, according to a U.S. Coast Guard official.
“There was a release of natural gas condensate, which produces a light silvery sheen on the water,” said Lt. Cmdr. Rob Compher, commanding officer of the Marine Safety Unit in Lake Charles. “The nature of this product is very light compared to crude oil because it evaporates very quickly.”
Jeanne Phillips, a spokeswoman for Dallas-based Hunt Oil, said the production platform and associated well were immediately shut in, ending the release.
“Local, state and federal authorities were notified immediately, and Hunt Oil Co. activated our response team in cooperation with authorities, which included the United States Coast Guard,” Phillips told the American Press by email Wednesday.
“As of 3 p.m., following an aerial fly-over with Hunt personnel and a USCG representative, we have confirmed that evaporation has occurred and no further mitigation is anticipated.”
Compher said the release occurred at about 3 p.m. Tuesday two miles off the coast at Holly Beach.
“We did an overflight last night, another was done Wednesday morning and one Wednesday afternoon,” Compher said. “We saw a few other patches this morning, but as of Wednesday afternoon we did not see any traces of sheen, and so it appears that it has evaporated.”
Compher said the Coast Guard does not anticipate the release will affect the ship channel or shoreline.
“Because it evaporates so quickly, it has much less potential to cause damage to the shoreline or wildlife because it doesn’t stick around too long,” he said. “We’ll continue to investigate the cause, but as far as the response and cleanup we don’t intend to do anything further.”