Oil is resurfacing again not far from the location of the BP Macondo Well off the Gulf of Mexico, 15 months on.Fifteen months after BP’s crippled Macondo Well in the Gulf of Mexico caused the worst environmental disaster in US history, oil and oil sheen covering several square miles of water are surfacing not far from BP’s well.
According to oil trackers with the organisation On Wings of Care who have been monitoring the oil since early August, rainbow-tinted slicks and thicker globs of oil have been visible.
“BP and NOAA [National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration] have had all these ships out there doing grid searches looking at things, so hopefully now they’ll take a look at this,” Bonny Schumaker, president and pilot of On Wings of Care, told Al Jazeera.
Schumaker, who has logged approximately 500 hours of flight time monitoring the area around the Macondo well for oil, said during her August 30 overflight of the area “we saw the slick cover roughly 10 miles [16km] in one direction and four miles [6km] in another”.
Schumaker has flown scientists from NASA, USGS, and oil chemistry scientists to observe conditions resulting from BP’s oil disaster that began in April 2010.
BP, whose Macondo well gushed at least 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank to the bottom, has denied that the oil is coming from their well.
On August 18 reports surfaced that a large swath of oil sheen was reported near the site of last year’s oil disaster. BP officials, in coordination with the US Coast Guard, deployed two submersibles to investigate the site.
BP said their visual inspection confirmed there wasn’t any oil released from the Macondo well, and that it observed bubbles from cement ports near the site of some of its Gulf wells.
“These observations are consistent with testing and sampling performed last year that detected nitrogen bubbles, a residual byproduct of the nitrified foam used in setting the wells’ surface casing cement,” the company said in a statement.