On Thursday, a Shell oil facility spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, just under 100 miles off the coast of Louisiana. The Coast Guard and two other government agencies have responded to the 13- by 2-mile spill and reported this morning that the oil has been contained. Cleaning up the spill is another story, and will likely take weeks or even months to complete.

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Shell reported that a subsea well-head flow line leaked 2,100 barrels of oil into the gulf waters, which is equal to 88,200 gallons. The oil company says the source of the spill has been controlled, and that production from all wells that flow to its Brutus platform, 97 miles south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana, had been shut off.

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Although the exact cause of the spill is still under investigation, federal authorities have reported there were no injuries or casualties related to the leak. The environmental impact will take a long time to assess, as is often the case with crude oil spills. Shell said the spill was spotted Thursday night by a company helicopter flying near its Glider subsea system at the Brutus platform. The site of the leak is an underwater pipe system that connects to a central hub, but there is no drilling at that location, according to Shell.


Images via Wikipedia and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement