Tens of Thousands of Gallons of Crude Oil Spill Into Gulf of Mexico

Almost 90,000 gallons of crude oil gushed from a Shell oil facility into the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast on Thursday, leaving a 13- by 2-mile sheen of oil on the waves, federal authorities said.

The Coast Guard said that the spill had been contained and that two companies were being contracted to begin cleanup operations.

IMAGE: Map of oil spill site
Map of the oil spill site. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which is part of the U.S. Interior Department, said Shell Offshore Inc. reported that production from all wells that flow to its Brutus platform, about 90 miles south of Timbalier Island, Louisiana, had been shut off.

No injuries or evacuations were reported, the safety bureau said.

Shell said Thursday night that a company helicopter spotted the sheen near its Glider subsea system at the Brutus platform. No drilling occurs at the site, which is an underwater pipe system that connects to a central hub, the company said.

"No release is acceptable, and safety remains our priority as we respond to this incident," Shell said.