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The Deepwater Horizon is not the only well leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico for the last month.
A nearby drilling rig, the Ocean Saratoga, has been leaking since at least April 30, according to a federal document.
While the leak is decidedly smaller than the Deepwater Horizon spill, a 10-mile-long slick emanating from the Ocean Saratoga is visible from space in multiple images gathered by Skytruth.org, which monitors environmental problems using satellites.
Federal officials did not immediately respond when asked about the size of the leak, how long it had been flowing, or whether it was possible to plug it.
Skytruth first reported the leak on its website on May 15. Federal officials mentioned it in the May 1 trajectory map for the Deepwater Horizon spill, stating that oil from the Ocean Saratoga spill might also be washing ashore in Louisiana.
BP (BP) isn't the only oil company with a leaking oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, according to BusinessInsider.com.
Shares of Diamond Offshore Drilling (DO) fell $3.55, or 6%, to $55.66 this morning after the financial news blog said the company's the company’s Ocean Saratoga rig is leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
BusinessInsider said images gathered by Skytruth.org, which monitors environmental problems by using satellites, show an oil plume originating from the Ocean Saratoga rig.
The Alabama Press-Register said that the rig has been leaking since April 30. The Saratoga, which is owned and operated by Diamond Offshore for well owner Taylor Energy, is about 12 miles off the coast of Louisiana.
Diamond Offshore spokesman Gary Krenek told BusinessInsider that "the Saratoga is working under 500 feet of water in the Gulf." Krenek said that Diamond Offshore was hired by Taylor Energy to plug and abandon the existing well. He declined to comment on the reported leak.
According to the MMS, there are five "rigs that do not need to shut in because of the operation being conducted." An industry source noted that those operations are not involved in drilling, but in either plugging and abandoning a well, or moving toward production, and in either case would not be covered by the moratorium.
In addition, five rigs that were scheduled to begin operations before the end of 2010 will not get under way because of the moratorium.
Exempted from the moratorium are the two relief wells that are being drilled at the site of the Deepwater Horizon well as part of the long-term effort to completely seal that well.
Two other drill rigs were given a pass from the moratorium. One is the Transocean Discoverer Enterprise, a drill ship that in recent days has been receiving oil and gas collected by a containment cap placed over the damaged BP well.
The other, the Diamond Ocean Saratoga, is operated by Taylor Energy, which has been in the process of plugging and abandoning a Mississippi Canyon well where the platform was toppled during Hurricane Ivan. The Diamond Ocean Saratoga is the only one on the MMS list that is operating at a depth of less then 500 feet. Eleven of the rigs are operating at greater depths than the Deepwater Horizon, which was drilling a bit more than 5,000 feet below the surface.
Earlier we published speculation from satellite analytics group SkyTruth that there may be a second leak in the Gulf. A freelance pilot and photographer confirmed these rumors and a possible coverup.
Photographer J Henry Fair says the new photos show an oil plume originating from the Ocean Saratoga rig, which is operated by Diamond Offshore. A work ship in the foreground appeared to be applying dispersants to the oil. A larger rig in the background may be discharging another leak.
This leak was reported last night by Alabama local news.