In the wake of yet another possible oil spill in the Gulf region, the United States Coast Guard has decided to launch an investigation into the dark waters surrounding Taylor Energy Corporation's Ocean Saratoga rig, resting only 40 miles away from the Deepwater Horizon rig.
Though the rig has been leaking since at least April 30, the rig's owner, Taylor Energy Corporation, and operator, Diamond Offshore Drilling, are both declining to comment. Taylor's spokesperson Denise Fields told Huffington Post that the company would be issuing a press release this afternoon.
Mobile, Alabama's Press Register reported that a 10-mile long slick emanating from the rig is visible from space.
Earlier today, Mother Jones's Kate Sheppard reported that John Amos of West Virginia-based nonprofit SkyTruth, was the first to notice the spill, observing an oil slick eleven miles off the coast of Louisiana. After viewing satellite images of the reported second spill, Amos concluded that the Deep Water Horizon and the Saratoga spills are independent of one another, meaning the Gulf cleanup situation may be getting worse before it gets better.
An analyst for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Douglas L. Becker, claims that reports of a second leak have been "taken out of context," stating that the rig is "in the process of plugging and abandoning a well where the platform was damaged during Hurricane Ike," reports Zero Hedge.
The Ocean Saratoga rig has been involved in previous incidents, including a March 2005 mishap in which the wellhead connector on the blowout preventer stack unlatched due to "poor procedures and human errors," according to a report by the Mineral Management Service, the government's offshore drilling regulator. As a result, 500 barrels of calcium chloride completion fluid was released.