Is oil sheen in Gulf of Mexico coming from site of BP spill?

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wwltv.com

Posted on December 13, 2012 at 11:24 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 13 at 11:41 PM

Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: mhernandez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl

NEW ORLEANS - BP is looking into whether a massive oil sheen in the Gulf of Mexico is coming from the site of the 2010 spill.

More than two years after the worst oil spill in U.S. History, officials believe several thousand barrels of oil could still be trapped in the wreckage and equipment connected to BP’s Deepwater Horizon.

Now, investigators are looking into whether the site is the source of continuing oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico.

“The only places that we have high suspicion that there might be contained oil is the containment dome where we already found some previously,” said Cpt. Duke Walker, Federal On Scene Coordinator for the Deepwater Horizon Response.

BP confirmed that an oil sheen spotted in mid-September was indeed leaking from the containment dome, an abandoned piece of equipment that capped the original spill. The company plugged that new leak, but days later, more slicks surfaced.

So far, investigators haven't found any new sources of oil, but haven't yet inspected the source of September's leak.

“We haven't been back to the containment dome yet, or the well heads, that's in our target package, and it will happen either [Thursday night] or perhaps [Friday],” said Walker.

This time, investigators also plan to look at the rig wreckage itself, which they didn't inspect after mid-September’s leak.

Meanwhile, Walker defends the Coast Guards oversight of BP, which pleaded guilty to last month to lying to Congress about how much oil really leaked into the Gulf in 2010.

“I think we continue to fill that role as oversight effectively and as aggressive as necessary,” said Walker.

Walker doesn't believe any oil is leaking from wells associated with the Deepwater Horizon.

“During all three of our previous missions, we found no indications on any of the three well head sites, particularly the primary, that there was anything to be concerned about, and there was no sign of leaking oil,” said Walker. “Out of an abundance of caution, every time we're down there, we'll look again to verify that that's the still case.”

Investigators expect this sub-sea mission to last through Saturday. In a statement to CBS News, BP said the wells from the Deepwater Horizon “are secure” and it will work with the Coast Guard “on any further steps, as needed, to address the results” of this week’s investigation.

 

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