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BP, others say oil not from capped well

Aug. 26, 2011 at 12:16 PM

NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- BP and others said an inspection showed the Macondo well, sealed after a disaster last year, was not leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Inspectors from the company and U.S.Coast Guard said they found no evidence of oil sheen in the gulf waters near the well, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Friday.

A remotely operated vehicle video inspection of the well and its relief well was conducted in the presence of representatives of the Gulf Coast Incident Management Team, federal agencies and several gulf states, a joint statement from BP and the team said.

A gas explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 workers and oil spewed from the Macondo well in one of the worst environmental disasters in the history of the oil industry last year. Crude oil flowed into the gulf from April 20 until July 15. The well was declared sealed Sept. 19.

The (Mobile, Ala.) Press-Register had recently reported that hundreds of small, circular patches of oily sheen pocked gulf waters within a mile of the wellhead.

The source of the oil sheen was unclear, the newspaper said, adding that a chemical analysis by Louisiana State University scientists confirmed it could possibly be from BP's well. The expert also said the oil could be coming from a natural seep on the seafloor near the wellhead, was escaping from the wreckage of the Deepwater Horizon rig or had been deposited on the seafloor during the spill and worked its way to the surface.

When the Press-Register reported the story initially, BP and the Coast Guard said they hadn't seen any scientific evidence that oil was leaking from the Macondo well.

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