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Reports of New Oil in Gulf of Mexico Causing Concern

By Rhonda Miller | Published 01 Sep 2011 12:09am | comments
Ray Melick, BP, Gulfport, Mississippi

Reports of new oil in the Gulf of Mexico are causing concern. While BP says its well at the Deepwater Horizon site is secure, MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports others are on alert.

Garret Graves is vice chairman of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force. He’s been hearing reports about new oil in the Gulf.  

"We did in Louisiana get samples and some of the initial testing of the oil that was found was traced back to the Macondo well," said Graves.

The Macondo well is the where the Deepwater Horizon exploded last year.  Graves said samples tested recently at Louisiana State University confirm the new oil has the same fingerprint as oil from the BP well.

BP spokesman Ray Melick said Wednesday in Gulfport a recent flyover with the Coast Guard showed no signs of oil within a 20-mile radius of the well site.

"In addition, back on August 25, BP conducted a visual inspection, using the Remotely Operated Vehicles, the ROVs, that actually go down to both the well site and the relief well.  And again, in the presence of representatives from the Coast Guard, state and federal agencies that were watching, including Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida, the indication was that there were no leaks either from the well itself or the relief well," Melick said.

Graves is not convinced by BP's findings.

"Just because their video didn’t, according to BP, didn’t identify leaking oil, that just means we need to redouble our efforts and figure out where in the well, or well area, the oil’s coming from, because we found oil," Graves said.

"I’m very disturbed there is now oil coming to the surface," said  environmental consultant Ed Cake of Ocean Springs.

"And my concern is maybe the subfloor structure has been compromised, so that we’re not only having just a seep, but a large seep that now may be bringing oil back up," Cake said.

Officials will continue to monitor the Gulf for any signs of new oil.

 

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Ray Melick, BP, Gulfport, Mississippi


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