Federal lawyers: Gulf oil leak spills much more than thought

Published 11:48 am Monday, September 17, 2018

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Federal government lawyers say a 14-year-old leak is releasing much more oil each day into the Gulf of Mexico than officials previously claimed.

A Friday court filing in a case involving Taylor Energy Co. says 10,000 to 30,000 gallons daily is leaking from multiple wells around a drilling platform toppled by 2004’s Hurricane Ivan.

In 2015, the U.S. Coast Guard estimated about 16,000 gallons of oil had been spotted in slicks over seven months.

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Taylor said only 2 to 3 gallons was leaking daily. A company spokesman says the estimate “is completely contrary” to previous science.

The document also says Taylor and the Coast Guard may plug more wells. It’s filed in a case where Taylor seeks the return of $423 million it deposited for leak response.