Ida aftermath: Divers identify source of post-hurricane oil spill in Gulf of Mexico

Divers have identified a ruptured pipeline, roughly 1-foot in diameter, as the source of an ongoing oil spill off the coast of Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Ida.

>> Read more trending news

In a statement issued late Sunday, Talos Energy, the Houston-based company currently paying for the cleanup, denied that the busted pipeline belongs to the company, The Associated Press reported.

In turn, Talos is working with the U.S. Coast Guard and other state and federal agencies to identify the pipeline’s owner and coordinate responses to the spill.

Ida made landfall one week ago as a strong Category 4 storm at Port Fourchon, Louisiana, packing 150 mph winds that tied it for the fifth-strongest hurricane to ever hit the mainland U.S. Its arrival came 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina was blamed for at least 1,800 deaths, levee breaches, catastrophic flooding in New Orleans and widespread destruction along Mississippi’s gulf coast.

>> Related: Ida aftermath: Storm blamed for at least 4 deaths; thousands face weeks without power

Ida has been blamed for at least 13 deaths along the Gulf Coast and dozens more after the storm’s remnants dumped torrential rains across the U.S. northeast.

According to, the U.S. Coast Guard began setting up a pollution response team in Baton Rouge on Sunday after “state and federal officials received reports of several dozen oil spills or sheens since Hurricane Ida.”

The AP and The New York Times published satellite photos earlier this week of what appeared to be a major crude oil plume in the Gulf of Mexico just south of Port Fourchon, and aerial survey photos provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Geodetic Survey show at least one sheen in the port, reported.

On Sunday, a Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew found an 11-mile-long rainbow sheen in Bay Marchand about 2 miles south of Port Fourchon, the news outlet reported.

Meanwhile, Talos confirmed that the rate of oil spewing from the busted undersea pipe had slowed dramatically in the past 48 hours and that no new, heavy black crude had been observed on the water in the past 24 hours.

According to the AP, two 95-foot response vessels are on site and attempting to contain and recover oil from the water’s surface.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.