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Gulf oil spill: New spill in Gulf area after barge crashes into abandoned oil well

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An abandoned oil well is leaking into a Louisiana bay about 35 miles south of New Orleans after a barge crashed into the well head early Tuesday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

A 1-mile-long sheen of oil from the new spill has been detected in the northwest corner of Barataria Bay, a delicate wetland area crisscrossed by a network of canals cut over the years by oil and gas companies.

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“The pipeline well head is discharging a mist of orange and brown oil about 100 feet in the air,” Gov. Bobby Jindal said. He added that the Coast Guard was sending response teams to the site.

The collision near Bayou St. Denis occurred at about 1 a.m. when a dredge barge pulled by a tug vessel hit the orphaned well, owned by Houston-based Cedyco Corp.

Another company has been hired to plug the well and boom was being laid to absorb the spill. A Coast Guard spokeswoman said there were no immediate reports of oiled wildlife.
-- Rong-Gong Lin II in Kenner, La.


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