Coast Guard: Another oil sheen discovered near Gulf disaster site

Another oil sheen has been reported in the Gulf of Mexico near the site of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster off Louisiana, the U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday.

The Coast Guard said in a statement that BP, owner of the Macondo well that blew out, and Transocean, owner of the rig that exploded, have received approval to proceed with another subsea camera investigation of the wreckage and wellhead site.

The move comes after a sheen was reported by BP on Nov. 2 and verified by satellite imagery, the agency said. Robotic cameras will be used starting Dec. 3 to determine the source of the sheen.

An earlier sheen was discovered at the site in September. It was later determined to have originated from a piece of equipment on the seafloor that had been used in a failed effort to stop the flow of oil to the sea from the Macondo well following the disaster. A cap and plug were successfully put in place and no further oil emissions from the containment dome have been observed, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard said BP and Transocean are being asked to develop options for “permanent remediation of oil that could still be contained within wreckage in the vicinity of the original Deepwater Horizon incident.”


About The Author

Veteran newsman currently covering energy for The Houston Chronicle. Spent 12 years at The Associated Press covering energy, airlines, general business news, legal affairs, politics and state and federal government issues. Won or shared numerous awards and award nominations for coverage of the Gulf oil spill, Delta Air Lines, the Atlanta courthouse shootings and the murders of two Dartmouth College professors. Prior to AP, worked at two daily newspapers in the Boston area.