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BP asked to be open about gulf accident

Dec. 14, 2012 at 6:02 AM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- British energy company BP is suspected of withholding evidence about a new oil sheen in the Gulf of Mexico, Democratic lawmakers said.

The U.S. Coast Guard, BP and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have worked to assess sheen observed in the Gulf of Mexico this fall. The Coast Guard confirmed that sheen was from the well that failed in 2010 and backed plans for a subsea survey.

U.S. Reps. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Henry Waxman, D-Calif., members of House energy committees, called on BP, the Coast Guard and other concerned parties to disclose what they've learned about the latest incidents.

"There is no statute of limitations or protections for a crime against the environment, and BP should immediately hand over any and all information related to this new chapter in their oil spill disaster," Markey said in a statement.

BP had put a 750-pound cap over an opening in the so-called cofferdam, which was a failed attempt to seal the leak that resulted from an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010.

Duke Walker, federal on-scene coordinator for the Deepwater Horizon response, was quoted by New Orleans broadcaster WWL-TV as saying the "only" place oil could be was in the containment dome.

"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," he said. "Out of an abundance of caution, every time we're down there, we'll look again to verify that that's the still case."

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