New oil slick in Gulf of Mexico traced to abandoned BP containment dome


A thin slick of oil in the Gulf of Mexico is coming from a containment dome that was abandoned on the sea floor during efforts to stop the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Remote-controlled submarines that were sent down to search for the source of the light slick earlier this week found a small amount of oil leaking from 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. The flow was finally stopped on July 15 by a series of valves that were attached to the top of the well.

The oil slick, known as a sheen, was first reported by BP on Sept. 16 about 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana.

Last week, the Coast Guard notified BP and rig owner Transocean that a lab had matched the oil from the sheen to oil from the well.

BP and the Coast Guard declined to comment.

The Wall Street Journal (via Dow Jones Newswires)

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