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Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Divers responding to an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico south of Louisiana, which erupted in the wake of Hurricane Ida, uncovered a broken pipeline on the ocean floor as the apparent source on Sunday.

The latest: They found a 12-inch pipeline "displaced from its original trench location, which appears to be bent and open ended," said Talos Energy, a Houston-based company that's paid for the divers and the cleanup, in an emailed statement. Talos said the pipeline didn't belong to the company.

An aerial survey image of the spill captured Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Photo: NOAA
  • "Additionally, two non-Talos owned [four-inch] lines have been identified in the vicinity that are open ended and appear to be previously abandoned," the statement added.

The big picture: The spill is some two miles south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana — a key oil industry hub and staging area, and the place where Ida first made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane last Sunday.

  • Talos is working with federal agencies including the U.S. Coast Guard, which is investigating the spill.
  • A Coast Guard spokesperson told Reuters that Talos had hired Clean Gulf Associates, which put measures in place to minimize the environmental impact and "contracted the private dive team" to find the slick's source.

Of note: The slick was still out at sea and away from the Louisiana shoreline as of Sunday night, according to multiple reports.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Southern California beaches reopen, as oil spill cleanup continues

Oil spill cleanup workers search for contaminated sand and seaweed at Huntington Beach in California on Oct. 9. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

A Southern California coastal area closed since one of the largest oil spills in the state's recent history struck over a week ago reopened Monday, as cleanup efforts continue.

The latest: Huntington Beach's reopening Monday came sooner than many expected, after water quality tests came back with no detectable levels of oil associated toxins in the ocean water, AP reports.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.

Officials warn 5 key tech sectors will determine whether China overtakes U.S.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. intelligence officials responsible for protecting advanced technologies have narrowed their focus to five key sectors: artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology, semiconductors and autonomous systems.

Why it matters: China and Russia are employing a variety of legal and illegal methods to undermine and overtake U.S. dominance in these critical industries, officials warned in a new paper. Their success will determine "whether America remains the world’s leading superpower or is eclipsed by strategic competitors."