A new oil sheen was spotted in the Gulf of Mexico, although energy company BP said Thursday the discovery had nothing to do with its operations and was far from the site of its disaster-hit Macondo well.
A spokesman for another company involved in investigating the sheen said he believed it had already dissipated since being first spotted last week.
BP spokesman Daren Beaudo said his company had sent several remotely controlled mini-submersibles into the water over the weekend to investigate the source of the sheen – a shiny coating that floats on the surface of the water and generally comes from leaked or spilled oil – but had concluded “that it couldn’t have been from anything of ours.”
A statement from BP PLC placed the site of the sheen near two abandoned exploration well sites in the Green Canyon Block in the Gulf of Mexico, although its size wasn’t disclosed.
The sheen was 172 miles (277 kilometers) from BP’s Macondo well and about 100 miles off the Louisiana coast.
The company’s account differs from an anonymous report received by the Coast Guard’s National Response Center over the weekend, which says that a semisubmersible sent down to a plugged and abandoned well on Saturday determined that it was leaking. The report, which was called in to the center Sunday evening, names BP as the suspected responsible party. It says that the equipment captured footage of a release, and that remedial actions would be determined based on the results of the sampling.
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Enforcement and Regulation confirmed that the report was associated with the incident.
But Beaudo told the AP that the initial report may not be accurate. He said the company tested the cloudy water near the wellhead and believes the substance was silt from the Gulf floor.