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New oil leak found in sunken U.S. oil rig

A new oil leak was found in a sunken oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico late Wednesday, and the oil spill could hit the U.S. state of Louisiana as early as Thursday.

The newly-discovered leak means that 5,000 barrels of oil a day are spilling from the rig into the Gulf of Mexico, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is requesting additional resources from the federal government as the oil spill could reach the state's coast earlier than previously expected.

"Out of an abundance of caution, I have directed all agencies to examine their roles in the response to potential damage caused by oil in the event it moves to Louisiana's coast," Jindal said in a statement.

"Though we do not yet know the exact effects of the oil leaking into the Gulf from the rig that exploded last week, our state is blessed with a wealth of unique species of animals, fish and vegetation and we are working to protect them," he added.

The oil spill could be disastrous for Louisiana's coastal environment and fishery industry. In order to protect the environment, boom protection is being deployed Wednesday on Pass-A-Loutre Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in four predetermined critical areas, as a precautionary measure at the state's request.

Approximately 55,000 feet of booming will target sensitive areas on the WMA where nesting bird habitats are located.

An explosion occurred last Tuesday at the Deepwater Horizon rig off the Louisiana coast. A total of 11 workers were presumed dead.

The Coast Guard initially said no oil appeared to be fleeing from the well on the ocean floor, but officials found oil was leaking on Saturday.