A potential leak at a Chevron oil installation in the Gulf of Mexico has led the company to shut down its Main Pass pipeline network offshore Louisiana, it said on Tuesday.
Chevron has shut a portion of the Main Pass pipeline as well as its Cypress line, the company said in a statement. Chevron didn't say how much oil is transported on the lines or provide details about the potential oil spill at the Main Pass 299 block.
Several calls to Chevron for comment were not returned.
Carol Fagot, a spokeswoman at the Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, said the agency was "aware of the report and looking into it," without offering further details.
Both the U.S. Coast Guard and the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator's Office said they had not been informed of a leak off the coast.
Chevron has two offshore platforms in the Main Pass 299 block, according to the company's website. The site is located in shallow waters about 40 miles east of Venice, Louisiana, and has produced heavy oil, natural gas and sulfur, according to government records.
"Chevron Pipe Line shut down the Main Pass System this morning to investigate a potential leak from a connecting riser on MP 299 lateral," the company statement said.
Riser pipelines normally carry crude from the seabed to production platforms.
In a filing with the National Response Center, Chevron said it shut an offshore crude pipeline after a potential leak related to an equipment failure.
Chevron also shut its line known as Cypress since "Main Pass is the only connecting pipeline system currently providing volumes into Cypress," the company said.
The Cypress pipeline feeds a crude terminal known as Empire on the Mississippi River in Louisiana, delivery point for cash crude Heavy Louisiana Sweet. Empire usually handles between 230,000 and 275,000 barrels a day, Chevron's website said.
The Empire terminal was still operating, a trade source said, although it wasn't clear whether flows into the terminal had been disrupted.
The Gulf of Mexico was the site of the worst-ever U.S. offshore oil spill last year when BP's Macondo well released more than 4 million barrels of crude from a blown out well offshore Louisiana.
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