A Louisiana energy firm has tentatively reached a $3.1 million settlement agreement with the federal government regarding a 2017 Gulf of Mexico leak.
The agreement was called a consent order and filed at the federal court in New Orleans, following a lawsuit that had been filed earlier in the day.
In the settlement, the company did not admit liability for the spill of approximately 16,000 barrels of crude oil (about 672,000 gallon) from a site located about 40 miles south of Venice in Louisiana. The lawsuit against LLOG Exploration, based in Covington (Louisiana), sought compensation for the costs incurred by NOAA to assess the damage.
In a report published in December 2019, the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) attributed the oil leak to a failed jumper device at the underwater wellhead. According to the lawsuit, it is believed that the oil leak began on October 11, 2017 and continued for “at least” 32 hours. According to the report that included recommendations for the industry to improve leak detection methods, the leak was not detected until several hours later.
The lawsuit does not detail any environmental damages. The Coast Guard stated that the oil spilled in 2017 was not expected reach the shore.
LLOG did not immediately respond to an email sent Wednesday asking for a comment about the lawsuit. According to court documents, there will be a period for public comments before the agreement can be approved.