Deepwater Horizon pipe ‘responsible for new oil slick in Gulf of Mexico’

From The Guardian UK:

BP and Transocean to submit clean-up operation, after scientists link three-mile oil slick to Deepwater Horizon disaster

US environment correspondent, Friday 12 October 2012

Government scientists have definitively linked a new oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico to the BP oil spill disaster of 2010.

A senior government scientist said the most likely source of the new oil is the mile-long length of pipe from the Deepwater Horizon rig, now lying in a crumpled loop on the ocean floor.

At worst, he said, the pipe was thought to contain some 1,800 barrels of oil – a minuscule amount compared with the 4.9m barrels that gushed into the ocean from BP‘s well during the 2010 oil disaster.

“When you look at all those pieces of information and put them together there is a high degree of confidence that the oil we are seeing and the sheening on the surface is coming from the riser, and that this is residual oil,” said Frank Csulak, who is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s scientific co-ordinator for the Deepwater Horizon disaster site.

BP said in a statement to reporters that its tests confirmed the oil was from the riser, and that samples contained compounds found in drilling mud.

BP spokesman Brett Clanton said: “The size of the sheen, its persistent point of origin and other factors indicate the most likely source is the bent riser pipe that once connected the rig to the well head, where a mix of oil, drilling mud and sea water were trapped after the top kill operation.

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