Staff and wire reports
NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard says an oil sheen near the site of the massive BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico matches oil from the 2010 disaster. BP believes that the oil is coming from a riser pipe that was originally connected to Macondo well on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico.
The Coast Guard says its tests established the oil came from the BP well. It could be left over from the wreckage of the Deepwater Horizon rig or debris from the calamity.
BP responded to the Coast Guard report Thursday afternoon.
“Like the Coast Guard, BP also has collected and analyzed sheen samples, which show a correlation with Macondo source oil but also indicate the presence of alpha-olefins, a compound found in the drilling mud but not in the source oil,” said a statement from BP. “This strongly suggests the oil is emanating from the debris from the Deepwater Horizon accident,”
Due to the size of the sheen and the point of origin, BP officials believe the oil is coming from the bent riser pipe that was connected to the well head, as the combination of oil and drilling mud would suggest.
The Macando well, which spewed millions of gallons of oil in the Gulf of Mexico after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, was deemed secure during an inspection in September 2011.
In a news release issued late Wednesday, the Coast Guard said BP PLC and the sunken rig's owner, Transocean, were informed they may be held financially liable for the new oil.
Capt. Duke Walker said the sheen was first reported Sept. 16 by BP based on satellite images. Walker says the sheen does not pose a risk to the shoreline and cannot be cleaned up.