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Coast Guard: Leaky oil well near New Orleans is plugged

December 17, 2018

PORT SULPHUR, La. (AP) — The Coast Guard says a crew has plugged a well that spewed thousands of gallons of oil into water about 40 miles (64 kilometers) from New Orleans.

Petty Officer Lexie Preston says the leak began Dec. 9. It was stopped Wednesday. The plug ensures that it can’t restart.

Preston says something damaged the wellhead, and investigators are looking into the cause.

The spill was in part of Plaquemines (PLAK-uh-minz) Parish that’s more water than land.

A Coast Guard news release says nearly 9,300 gallons (35,000 liters) of oil spewed into Lake Washington from the well owned by Hilcorp Energy Co. of Westwego. It says about 10,000 gallons (nearly 38,000 liters) of oily water has been recovered so far.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is rescuing oiled wildlife.

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