It remains unclear who is responsible for the spill given the number of old pipelines and abandoned wells in the Gulf of Mexico.
An oil leak off the coast of the southern U.S. state of Louisiana has spread extensively after Hurricane Ida's powerful landfall late last month, local media reported on Wednesday.
"What was observed was an unrecoverable, dissipating rainbow sheen that was approximately 11 miles in length," Lt. John Edwards with the U.S. Coast Guard said.
Divers found the leaking pipe in Bay Marchand on Sunday and Monday, said Talos Energy, the company that sent a response team to the site after being notified of the oil spill.
It said its operations were not the source of the oil. "Talos conducted both physical inspections and subsea sonar scans that confirmed Talos assets were not the source or cause of the release," the company said in a statement.
As of Wednesday, it remains unclear who is responsible for the spill. Given the number of old pipelines and abandoned wells in the Gulf of Mexico, that should not be a big surprise for failing to find the source of the discharge, said Wilma Subra at the nonprofit Louisiana Environmental Action Network.
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"If you would look at all the pipelines, on a map, offshore, it looks like spaghetti, you just threw spaghetti in there. Pipelines everywhere, everywhere, everywhere," Subra said.
"The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has allowed the offshore oil and gas industry to leave 97 percent of pipelines (18,000 miles) on the seafloor when no longer in use" since the 1960s, said a report issued by the Government Accountability Office earlier this year.
Pipelines can contain oil or gas if not properly cleaned in decommissioning. Nearly 350 oil spill incidents that require further investigation have been reported in the wake of Hurricane Ida.