UPDATE: Leaky Matagorda Island oil rig tank emptied
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Sabco Operating Company has completed the safe removal of all liquids from a leaking holding tank, Thursday, about 5 miles off the coast of Matagorda Island, Texas.
The Coast Guard along with local, state, and federal agencies, stood up an incident management team to closely monitor the actions being taken by Sabco Operating Company and to ensure any environmental impact was minimized in response to the reported leak. All transfer operations have been completed without an oil sheen having been observed or reported.
By design, the tank consisted of more than 300,000 gallons of medium crude oil product that sat on more than 150,000 gallons of water, which acts as a buffer to prevent the release of oil in the event of a leak such as this. The oil platform had three replenishment pumps, each of which was able to replace the water in the tank faster than it was leaking. The leak was estimated at three-gallons-per-minute from the partially plugged half-inch size hole.
The oil barge Andrea 2604 arrived today at approximately 6:30 a.m. and completed the removal of all liquids from the tank at 1:50 p.m. Responders were on standby to quickly respond if needed throughout the removal process.
“We are extremely thankful that the response plans in place and coordinated efforts by all agencies involved and the responsible party went flawlessly with minimal impact, if any, to our environment,” said Coast Guard Capt. Randal Ogrydziak, the federal on-scene coordinator for the response. “The Coast Guard and the Texas General Land Office will be working with the Sabco Operating Company to ensure repairs and follow-on preventative measures are completed and in compliance with federal and state regulations.”
The incident management team consists of the Coast Guard, Sabco Operating Company, Texas General Land Office, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Railroad Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Park Service.
Coast Guard crews aboard the Cutter Amberjack and MH-65 Dolphin helicopters were on scene throughout the operation to validate that all proper actions were taken. The Coast Guard thanks the cooperation of all boaters in keeping a safe distance from the oil platform while responders worked to resolve this potential threat.
For more information, contact Lt. Cmdr. Brendan Evans at (361) 438-0176 or Mr. Tim O’Leary, on behalf of Sabco Operating Company, at (281) 352-7740.