02/27/2013 03:33 pm ET Updated Mar 01, 2013

Port Sulphur Oil Spill: Wellhead Owned By Swift Energy Leaking Into Gulf After Boat Strike

An oil spill off the coast of Louisiana is being investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard.

According to a media release, the spill occurred after a 42-foot boat known as the "Sea Raider" hit an inactive wellhead about 9 miles south of Port Sulphur, La., on Tuesday evening.

The platform has discharged an unknown amount of "oily-water mixture" into the surrounding water, the release states. The wellhead, owned by Swift Energy, has been inactive since December 2007.

From ABC News:

The Coast Guard tells ABC News Swift Energy has contracted a cleanup company to help remove the substance flowing into the marshland. Once the area is clear, the Coast Guard will move in to assess exactly what it is flowing out of the well and how much of it is spewing out.

The Port Sulphur spill comes nearly three years after an explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon, an offshore oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, unleashed millions of gallons of oil into the surrounding ocean.

A settlement regarding the Deepwater Horizon incident is still working its way through the courts, with rumors of a potential BP plea deal pegged at $16 billion.

Update: Feb. 27, 5:51 p.m.: Swift Energy President Bruce Vicent told ABC that the company doesn't have precise figures on the size of the spill, but that it is small and should be completely capped within a few days.

He added that no one aboard the Sea Raider was injured. A containment boom and two skimmers have begun controlling and cleaning up the oil.

The last test of the well indicated production of approximately 18 barrels of oil a day in addition to 59,000 cubic feet of natural gas, notes Reuters, a far cry from the Deepwater Horizon's estimated 60,000 barrels each day.

Update: March 1, 9:51 a.m.: As of 3:12 p.m. Thursday afternoon, the leaking wellhead has been brought under control, according to a media release from Swift Energy.



Oil Spills Since The Gulf Disaster