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Temperatures will be a little cooler tonight into Friday as weak surge of cooler air works in from the northeast. No rain is still expected through the weekend with our next opportunity for rain not until Tuesday as a cool front moves through.
Multi-Agency Response Stops Leaking Offshore Oil Pipeline
Port Arthur, Texas (August 23, 2013) Coordinated efforts of the Unified Command, comprised of U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur, the Texas General Land Office, the Texas Railroad Commission, and Allied Operating Texas, eliminated all oil pollution risk from a leaking offshore oil well pipeline earlier today.
Coast Guard and Texas General Land Office personnel located and verified the source of a 5-mile long rainbow sheen on the water in the vicinity of Sea Rim State Park this past Sunday, August 18th. Dive crews discovered a deteriorated repair clamp & two small holes on the 3 diameter pipe which runs 1.5 miles from the well to onshore storage tanks. Approximately 81 gallons of light crude oil had escaped the leaking pipeline.
The Unified Command initially estimated 2,800 gallons of oil remained in the total length of the pipeline. According to U.S. Coast Guard Captain Joe Paitl, Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the operation, Once pollution clean-up crews were dispatched & poised on scene to collect any recoverable product that may escape that bought us time to plan & stage resources for the next step, flushing out the line. A combination of weather, offshore conditions & on-scene equipment logistics delayed operations for a day.
Operations resumed early this morning in a synchronized process involving multiple crews. With top-side teams standing by with absorbent pads & boom, the underwater pipeline was slowly pressurized to begin moving the oily water into shore side tanks & divers simultaneously searched for & clamped pipeline leaks; the teamwork was impressive, said Captain Paitl.
As of 3 pm this afternoon, crews had flushed & collected over 6,700 gallons of sea water through the pipe; successfully ridding the line of any remaining pollution risk. In the coming weeks the Railroad Commission of Texas will work with Allied Operating Texas to determine the best options for future operation of the oil well.