Oil Appearing Around BP Well Again

Sheen reaches across a quarter mile
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2011 5:28 PM CDT
Oil Appears Again on Gulf of Mexico in Deepwater Horizon Area
In this April 23, 2010 file photo, taken in the Gulf of Mexico, a boat with an oil boom tries to contain oil spilled from the explosion and collapse of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

A year after BP capped its ill-fated Macondo well, oil is once again appearing on the surface overhead. Oil blobs climbed to the surface and spread into patches 4 and 5 feet wide, the Press-Register reports. The thin sheen covered an area some 50 yards wide and a quarter-mile long. No one knows where it came from, but researchers’ analysis showed it was sweet Louisiana crude that could have flowed from the BP well.

Experts cited a range of possibilities: The oil could be from a natural opening on the sea floor; escaping after being trapped in the destroyed rig; or rising from the sea floor where it landed after the explosion. The worst case scenario is oil seeping through the sea floor around the capped well. “Neither BP nor the Coast Guard has seen any scientific evidence that oil is leaking from the Macondo well, which was permanently sealed almost a year ago,” says a rep for BP. But a top petroleum engineer called the scene “suspicious.” Click through for more on this latest Deepwater Horizon mystery, including new photos. (Read more Deepwater Horizon stories.)

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