Origin of New Gulf Oil Spill Identified, but Source of Other Plumes Remains a Mystery

The source of one new <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/oil_spills">oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been identified, but officials are still trying to figure out where other oily slicks spotted in the ocean are coming from.

These new incidents come just short of the one year anniversary of the <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/BP-Gulf-Oil-Property-Claims-Rental-Property-Lawsuit-Lawyer-Class-Action">BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill. That disaster began April 20, 2010 with an explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that killed 11 men. The Gulf Coast economy – especially the tourism and seafood industries – is still struggling to recover from that catastrophe.

Houston-based Anglo-Suisse Offshore Partners has taken responsibility for one oil spill that occurred over the weekend near Grand Isle, Louisiana. The source of the spill was a non-producing oil well in the in the West Delta Block 117, west-southwest of Southwest Pass, that was being capped for permanent abandonment. The oil spill contaminated Louisiana beaches and wet lands, and produced an oil slick that extended 100 miles into the Gulf.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Anglo-Suisse had made three separate reports to the U.S. Coast Guard over the weekend, and reported that less than 5 gallons of crude had escape. The company now says it had the well fully shut in by 8:30 p.m. yesterday.

While Anglo-Suisse said it will pay for the clean-up, it also stated it was “surprised” that its dormant well could have released that much oil.

Meanwhile, the Times-Picayune is also reporting that some environmentalists, engineers and scientists say they spotted a new slick when they flew over Chandeleur Sound on Monday and Tuesday. They shared pictures with the newspaper that showed “black, streaky plumes over a 20-mile stretch from just east of Quarantine Bay to just west of the shoal remains of Curlew Island.” A log of the trip said the sheen spotted Tuesday was bigger than what was seen the previous day.

The Huffington Post is reporting that the Gulf Restoration Network’s John Henderson also took a flight from Timbalier Bay to Grand Isle discovered what appeared to be oil in the water.

The Coast Guard is investigating these and other sightings of dark plumes in the water that were initially reported over the weekend, the Huffington Post said. We reported on Monday that the Coast Guard had suspected that one such sheen was the result of sediment stirred up by dredging that was carried into the Gulf by the Mississippi River.

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