BP Says Gulf Oil Sheen Came From Equipment Not Macondo Well Leak

Posted in BP British Petroleum,Deepwater Horizon,Gulf Coast on October 23, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, La. — Both BP and the U.S Coast Guard said that the September 2012 oil sheen that appeared in the Gulf and was linked by laboratory tests to the Macondo well, most likely came from a piece of discarded equipment from the April 10, 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

In a statement released Thursday, Oct 18, BP said a three-day inspection confirmed that its Macondo well, which blew out and led to the worst offshore oil spill in the United States, isn’t leaking. They went on to say that a relief well that intercepted the blown-out well and sealed it also isn’t leaking.

BP and Transocean Ltd, owner of the Deepwater Horizon that killed 11 oil rig workers, conducted the survey and the Coast Guard oversaw the inspection.

The Washington Post reported:

The company said the survey determined oil probably leaked from an 86-ton steel container the company lowered over a leaking drill pipe in efforts to funnel oil to the surface. The container was one of several methods BP used in its months-long effort to contain its blown-out well.

BP said this is the third time since the well was sealed in September 2010 that it has been inspected and confirmed not to be leaking.

The Coast Guard said oil samples collected on Wednesday will be analyzed to determine if the container is the source of the sheen.

“The Coast Guard is further evaluating what is believed to be seepage from the containment dome to determine how best to respond,” Capt. Duke Walker said in a statement.

The Coast Guard said underwater video showed apparent oil globules leaking from the steel container at an estimated rate of less than 100 gallons per day. The container is about 1,600 feet from the wellhead.

“It is entirely separate from the wellhead and any riser piping,” the Coast Guard said. “Out of an abundance of caution, (a remotely operated vehicle) also inspected the original Macondo well area including the wreckage, debris, relief wells, and the riser on the sea floor and observed no oil leakage from that area.”

Source: Washington Post

Posted by maritime lawyer Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP