An oil slick several miles long can be seen in the Gulf of Mexico in what appears to be coming from a large drilling platform owned by Enterprise Offshore Drilling based in Houston. Additionally, an oil sheen and rainbow reflections from the surface of the water can be seen in several areas of Louisiana’s bayous along the southern coastline. There is also massive flooding inside the Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery which is located along the banks of the Mississippi River south of New Orleans.
A Phillips 66 spokesperson confirmed it has found a “sheen of unknown origin” in and around the refinery where it flooded. Phillips 66 also said that it appears any possible leak causing the sheen is contained within the refinery grounds. Phillips 66 has a robust response plan when leaks develop, and Hurricane Ida was a category 4 hurricane when it hit Louisiana. A Phillips 66 employee who asked not to be named said they are doing everything within their abilities to find, stop and clean up and leaks that could have been caused from damage from the hurricane.
There has been significant damage to the oil and gas infrastructure in and around Port Fourchon, which took a direct hit from the hurricane. Oil production, refineries and pipelines have mostly been shut down. According to one source we talked to, minor damage happened to most oil and gas facilities, and a few took significant damage. A temporary shortage of oil refining has cause gas prices to rise slightly in the Southeast U.S.
Federal officials have said they have not yet made it to Port Fourchon because the roads are impassible and that they are working to reach the coast to begin surveying the damage and set up for recovery.
Image is of Barataria, Louisiana following Hurricane Ida