Oil Slick Not From Sealed BP Well

A thin oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico appears to be coming from a containment dome that was abandoned on the sea floor during efforts to stop the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, not from the plugged well, according to the U.S. Coast Guard and BP PLC.

Remote-controlled submarines that were sent down to search for the source of the light oil slick earlier this week found a small amount of oil leaking from two places on the dome, a four-story-tall steel box which in May 2010 was lowered onto the oil leaking from BP’s well some 5,000 feet below the ocean surface.

The device was meant to collect the oil and allow it to flow to a ship, but got clogged with ice crystals. It was left on the sea floor about 500 yards from the well. The flow was finally stopped on July 15, 2010, by a series of valves that were attached to the top of the well and the well was permanently sealed in September.

Video inspections of the containment dome showed small, intermittent drops of oil coming from two openings on the device, according to a Coast Guard statement. The flow rate is estimated to be less than 100 gallons per day.

Inspections of the sealed well, two relief wells, rig wreckage and a pipe that connected the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon with the well before the accident, didn’t show signs of leaking…

By TOM FOWLER/ Originally published by the Wall Street Journal.

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