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Taylor Energy

Oil Spill | Gulf of Mexico off Mississippi River Delta | September 2004

What Happened?

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?

On December 22, 2021, a settlement was proposed in Federal District Court to resolve claims related to the Taylor Energy Platform oil spill at Mississippi Canyon 20 (“MC-20”). $16.5 M of this settlement is to restore natural resources injured by the spill

On March 18, 2022, after a public commenting period, the settlement was finalized in Federal District Court.  $16.5 M of this finalized settlement will go towards projects that restore the natural resources impacted by the Taylor Energy oil spill. 

Oil can be seen rising to the surface at the origin of the slick emanating from the Taylor MC20 site. Credit: NOAA
Oil can be seen rising to the surface at the origin of the slick emanating from the Taylor MC20 site. Credit: NOAA

“This settlement represents an important down payment to address impacts from the longest-running oil spill in U.S. history. Millions of Americans along the Gulf Coast depend on healthy coastal ecosystems. NOAA and our co-Trustees look forward to working in partnership with the National Pollution Funds Center to ensure the region and the ecosystem can recover from this ongoing tragedy.” - Nicole LeBoeuf, Director of NOAA's National Ocean Service


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


Last updated March 18, 2022