CLAIM: The Shell-operated deep-water oil platform known as the Mars/Olympus platform has broken loose after Hurricane Ida and now is “free within the Gulf of Mexico.”
THE FACTS: A Facebook account dedicated to sharing weather updates from members of the public, Mississippi Weather Network, erroneously posted Aug. 29 that the platform had broken loose during the storm, but then it retracted the post later that day, when the information could not be verified.
An update on the Facebook page notified readers that page administrators had taken down the post “until further information can be verified by the oil company(ies) in question or U.S. government officials.” The update reads: “We may not always get it right, but we never purposefully get it wrong to mislead anyone.”
Though the inaccurate post about the storm damage had been taken down, social media users continued sharing screenshots of it. The U.S. Coast Guard conducted a flyover Aug. 29 that revealed no oil platforms had broken loose, according to an agency statement. Shell also performed its own flyover the next day and confirmed that its Mars, Olympus and Ursa platforms were “all intact and on location.”
About 300 offshore platforms were evacuated ahead of Ida, leading to a pause of 80 percent of the Gulf’s oil and gas production, according to the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.