Mar 31, 2011 3:06 PM by Kate Durio
The Coast Guard continues its response Thursday to the report of a ruptured condensate oil and natural gas pipeline near Cameron, La., received Wednesday by watchstanders at Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Lake Charles.
At approximately 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, the dredging barge Bayport reported that a 12-inch, condensate oil and natural gas pipeline was ruptured during a dredging operation within the Calcasieu Ship Channel.
The Coast Guard Captain of the Port immediately established a two-mile safety zone around the area and a broadcast notice to mariners was issued, urging mariners to proceed with caution when transiting this area. The Captain of the Port also closed the Calcasieu Ship Channel to all traffic as of 9:42 p.m., Wednesday.
The Coast Guard Captain of the Port has reduced the safety zone from a two-mile radius to 1,000 yards. This will allow vessels with drafts less than 32 feet to navigate safely around the established 1,000 yard safety zone. Once the Captain of the Port has verified that the pipeline poses no risk to 40-foot draft vessel traffic, the Calcasieu Ship Channel will be reopened.
At 8:15 a.m., Thursday, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and crew was launched from Coast Guard Air Station Houston to assess the extent of pollution.
The aircrew did not observe any visible signs of condensate oil pollution in the water.
The platform A, located in West Cameron block 62, owned by El Paso Exploration and Production Company, L.P., has been shut-in.
Stingray-Enbridge, the pipeline owner, has been identified as the responsible party. Stingray-Enbridge is mobilizing personnel and skimmers to commence clean-up activities.
The Coast Guard and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement are investigating the cause of the incident.