Company holds public forum about oil leak in gulf

Company holds public forum about oil leak in gulf

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A New Orleans company held its first public forum Wednesday regarding a decade-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

The president of Taylor Energy told a gathering of industry experts and environmental advocates that the leak was caused by "an act of god event."

He also said the company cares "very deeply" about the environment.

Wednesday's forum is part of a settlement Taylor Energy reached with environmental groups after they accused the company of withholding information about the leak which was triggered when a platform toppled during Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Federal regulators estimate the oil slicks could last a century or more if left unchecked.

While the lawyer for the company, Mike Beatty, stressed that they have worked to plug the holes, oil sediments still do seep to the surface.

They gave options to contain the sediment at Wednesday's meeting.

"We're discussing whether it's necessary to have a containment dome to try to pick up any of the remnant oil that could be coming from the sentiments," Beatty said. "So those conversations are going, and questions whether it would cause more environmental harm, because any time you touch the surface, you can disturb that subsurface area and cause oil to be released."

The spill does not compare in magnitude to the BP oil spill. Still, the Coast Guard estimates the pollution is 84 gallons of oil per day. That is higher than estimates from Taylor Energy in early 2016 that the pollution was at less than 4 gallons per day.

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