Source of latest oil sheen at Gulf disaster site unknown

The U.S. Coast Guard said officials have been unable to determine the source of an oil sheen reported in November near the site in the Gulf of Mexico of the 2010 rig explosion and oil spill.

But, it reiterated that an inspection of the well that blew out confirmed again that the tight-fitting cap on the well is secure and no oil is leaking out.

The agency said Tuesday that remotely operated vehicles investigating the sheen concluded operations on Saturday and no sources of leaking oil were identified. During operations, an unidentified substance inconsistent with oil was seen emitting from several areas of the rig wreckage, and samples were collected for further lab analysis, the Coast Guard said.

A prior oil sheen found in September was determined to have come from oil trapped in a containment device that was used in a failed effort to stop the flow of oil to the sea. The device was left on the seafloor and has been there ever since.


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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.