BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A government lawyer says a 13-year-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico remains a "long-term problem" without a clear solution for eliminating chronic slicks that often stretch for miles off Louisiana's coast.
Justice Department attorney John Roberson told a federal judge last Friday that up to 16 oil wells are possibly leaking at the site where a company's platform toppled during Hurricane Ivan in 2004. According to a court transcript, Roberson said federal regulators haven't decided whether to require Taylor Energy Co. to plug any of those wells.
A company lawyer insisted there is no evidence any wells are still leaking.
Taylor Energy sued the government to recover millions of dollars it set aside for work to end the leak. Yearlong settlement talks have failed to resolve the case.