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Taylor Energy Platform

Hurricane Ivan hit the Gulf Coast as a Category 3 hurricane on September 16, 2004, after passing through and causing significant damage to the offshore oil industry. Satellite imagery revealed ocean surface anomalies ranging up to 30 miles in length, originating from the position of Taylor Energy’s MC20 oil production platform, located 10 miles off the coast of Louisiana near the mouth of the Mississippi River. Over 450 feet tall, the platform stood on the seafloor and gathered oil from 28 oil wells. 

The passing hurricane triggered a mudslide that collapsed the platform, moving and burying parts of the platform, wells, and piping in sediment. This collapse initiated the longest running oil spills in U.S. history. The chronic slicks were regularly observed and reported during the response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill. Some of the wells were ultimately shut-in, but others could not be contained and oil continues to be released nearly two decades later.  

An underwater containment system was installed in 2019 and on December 22, 2021, a $16.5 million settlement was proposed in Federal District Court in order to aid in restoring natural resources injured by the spill. On March 18, 2022 the settlement was finalized after a public commenting period.