Oil is again bubbling to the surface of the Gulf of Mexico near the epicenter of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Reporters from Mobile, Alabama’s Press-Register loaded into a boat Tuesday to inspect the site. Equipped with cameras, the reporters discovered “hundreds of small, circular patches of oily sheen” within a mile of the well.
“Floating in a boat near the well site, Press-Register reporters watched blobs of oil rise to the surface and bloom into iridescent yellow patches,” the paper reported Wednesday. “Those patches quickly expanded into rainbow sheens 4 to 5 feet across.”
According to the Press-Register, “Each expanding bloom released a pronounced and pungent petroleum smell. Most of the oil was located in a patch about 50 yards wide and a quarter of a mile long.”
Petroleum engineers are concerned that oil is leaking from the floor of the Gulf near the sealed well. (Oil trade groups: Drilling deregulation could create 190,000 jobs)
Louisiana State University chemist Scott Miles conducted a chemical analysis of the oil to identify its “fingerprint.” Miles said that, “It is possible it could be [from the Deepwater Horizon well] . It’s south Louisiana crude for sure.”
BP said in a statement to the Press-Register: “We stand by what we said last week, neither BP nor the Coast Guard has seen any scientific evidence that oil is leaking from the Macondo well, which was permanently sealed almost a year ago.”