Equinox Oil Co. Well Blowout

State TrusteeFederal TrusteeAO Bureau

Also Known As

Incident Type




Case Status



Lake Grand Ecaille



Contaminants of Concern Include


Affected DOI Resources Include

Migratory Birds

Financial Summary

Restoration Funds Collected:


*Restoration Funds Allocated:


*Restoration Funds Remaining:


* Restoration Funds can contain multiple settlements/projects. All collections are placed in interest bearing accounts. For detailed information on individual settlements/ projects please visit: NRDAR Status Report

Case Description

On September 22, 1998, an unknown volume of oil (similar to a medium weight crude oil) was discharged during a blowout of a well owned by Equinox into the waters of Lake Grande Ecaille, in Plaquemines Parish, coastal Louisiana. The exact volume of oil discharged is unknown, but estimates range from less than 450 bbl to 1,500 bbl. The oil was discharged in a jet that shot straight up approximately 200-300 feet into the air along with natural gas, produced water, and sand. The blowout continued for approximately 11 hours, at which point the discharge was stopped. Equinox responded to the spill, deploying booms, and later vacuuming up the oily sand that was deposited in the vicinity of the wellhead. Several thousand acres of surface water in Lake Grande Ecaille, as well as the Gulf of Mexico, were covered by slicks or sheens from the incident, and approximately 1,233 acres of wetlands (predominantly Spartina alterniflora marsh) were exposed to oil. Hurricane Georges passed near the area four days later on September 26, 1998, causing the response efforts to be suspended for a period, but also removing some of the oil from the marshes and surface waters. After the passage of the hurricane, some areas that had previously been free of oil were oiled as a result of the redistribution of stranded oil.

Case Documents

 Document TypeDocument NameDocument Date


 Settlement Agreement Settlement Agreement 01/05/2006


 Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment Restoration Plan 11/20/2005

Map View

Case Contact

Louisana Ecological Services Field Office

Lafayette, LA | (337) 291-3100 | http://www.fws.gov/lafayette/

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