Oil Spill | Gulf of Mexico off Mississippi River Delta | September 2004
In September of 2004, Taylor Energy’s MC20 oil production platform collapsed and sank in a mudslide during or after Hurricane Ivan. Parts of the platform and piping were buried under the sediments.
The platform was located in the Gulf of Mexico, thirteen miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River. More than a decade later, crude oil continues to discharge from the well site and surface on the Gulf waters.
What Were the Impacts?
Satellite imagery shows slicks varying in size, sometimes ranging up to 30 miles in length. The continuing release of oil is happening in the rich boundary where the waters of the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico mix. These slicks have the potential to impact public marine resources including plankton, fish and invertebrates (especially the sensitive early life stages), sargassum, birds, mammals, and turtles.
What’s Happening Now?
The Trustees are evaluating information collected during response efforts and collecting preassessment phase information to determine what impacts may have occurred, while the USCG and Unified Command continue to explore options for controlling the release.
The Trustees are also considering data being collected by researchers who are using the site to study oil fate and transport, and to better calibrate remote sensing observations of oil.
In June 2016 the Trustees invited Taylor Energy Company to participate in cooperative assessment discussions.
The persistent release of oil is happening in the biologically-rich mixing zone where the turbid waters of the Mississippi River plume meet the deep blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. - Dan Hahn, NOAA
Daniel Hahn, Ph.D.
Regional Resource Coordinator
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Assessment & Restoration Division, SE Region
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701