From: John Porretto, Associated Press
Published January 2, 2007 12:00 AM

Divers Seal Broken Oil Pipeline in Gulf of Mexico; Environmental Effects Minimal

HOUSTON -- Divers sealed a broken oil pipeline Sunday after about 44,500 gallons leaked into the Gulf of Mexico, the Coast Guard said.


The weeklong spill about 30 miles south of Galveston was expected to have minimal effect on the environment. The oil continued to move away from land Sunday and was quickly dispersing, the Coast Guard said.


A portion of the High Island Pipeline System ruptured Dec. 24. The pipeline's owner, Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline LP, shut down the line after detecting a pressure loss in the system.


A ship trying to moor in the area, where the water is about 90 feet deep, might have dropped its anchor on the pipeline, Plains Pipeline spokesman Jordan Janak said.


It was too early to say when the line would be repaired or how much the damage will cost the company, Janak said.


The spill's size was significant, but the crude oil was a relatively light grade and is far from land, according to Greg Pollock, deputy commissioner of the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Program in the Texas General Land Office.


Source: Associated Press


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