"NEW ORLEANS -- An 18,000 gallon spill of crude oil from a pipeline into the Delta National Wildlife Refuge has personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard, the state of Louisiana, and the Cypress Pipe Line Company scrambling to contain the spreading mess.
The incident was first reported to the Coast Guard early Tuesday morning. At that time, Berry Brothers General Contractors were conducting dredging operations for ExxonMobil in the area of the spill. They notified the Coast Guard that oil was spilling into a canal located 10 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana.
An area of about 160 square miles has been affected by the spill - 16 square miles of wetlands in the 76 square-mile Delta National Wildlife Refuge and 120 square miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.
Cypress Pipe Line Company of Opelousas, Louisiana, which operates the pipeline, reports that approximately 18,000 gallons of crude oil has been released."