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Shell: Sheen in Gulf of Mexico dissipating

April 13, 2012 at 7:41 AM

NEW ORLEANS, April 13 (UPI) -- Royal Dutch Shell said it deployed remote-operated vehicles to the Gulf of Mexico to look for natural seeps but said it found no signs of an oil leak.

A 1-mile-by-10-mile sheen was spotted Wednesday in the Gulf of Mexico near the Mars and Ursa production areas in the Gulf of Mexico, two assets held by Royal Dutch Shell. The oil company said a "thorough inspection" uncovered no signs of an oil leak from the production area.

"We have also confirmed there are no well control issues associated with our drilling operations in the area," the company said in a statement.

Shell said it was taking "prudent caution" by responding to the sheen, which is estimated to represent about 6 barrels of oil.

The company said it sent two remote-operated vehicles to examine its assets and other infrastructure in the area to look for what it said could be naturally occurring seeps in the area.

The sheen report comes one week before the second anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico.

Shell said it was in close communication with U.S. authorities. Its aerial and subsea surveillance indicates the light sheen is breaking up and dispersing naturally.

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