Federal lawyers: Gulf oil leak spills much more than thought
Federal government lawyers say a 14-year-old leak is releasing much more oil each day into the Gulf of Mexico than officials previously claimed.
A Friday court filing in a case involving Taylor Energy Co. says 10,000 to 30,000 gallons (37,000 to 113,000 liters) daily is leaking from multiple wells around a drilling platform toppled by 2004’s Hurricane Ivan.
In 2015, the U.S. Coast Guard estimated about 16,000 gallons (60,500 liters) of oil had been spotted in slicks over seven months.
Taylor said only 2 to 3 gallons was leaking daily. A company spokesman says the estimate “is completely contrary” to previous science.
The document also says Taylor and the Coast Guard may plug more wells. It’s filed in a case where Taylor seeks the return of $423 million it deposited for leak response.