BP Leak Reports “DISAPPEAR” from the Web!



The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating an oily sheen in the Gulf of Mexico spotted last month near the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill site at Macondo Well 40 miles south of the Mississippi River, a spokesman said Wednesday, revealing a little more of the fossil fuel catastrophe and subsequent coverup.

“The Coast Guard’s National Response Center was first notified of the sheen on Sept. 16 in a report that said it was spotted on satellite imagery, and had not been visually confirmed,” the Times Picayune reports.

The sheen was later reported on a new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration web site tracking environmental incidents nationwide.

The initial report from NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration said:

“This hotline is being started for new reports of sheen of unknown origin in and near lease block Mississippi Canyon 252. This incident is likely related to reports in August 2011 (See incident #8345, Aug2011). Although the source of these sheens may be the wrecked BP Macondo Well, this relationship has not been established at this time. Activities include daily overflights sponsored by BP, with USCG or NOAA observers on board [intermittently]. BP is sending a vessel to the area with an ROV to investigate the potential source.”

That report is no longer on the web site as of Tuesday night. Instead, visitors see:

“Incident #8510 does not exist, has been deleted, or you do not have permission to view it.”

The report also said BP was sending a vessel equipped with a remotely-operated underwater vehicle to the area to investigate the potential source of oil.

“Here we go again,” says New Orleans-based environmental attorney Stuart Smith. “Federal officials acknowledge that they’re investigating a new oil sheen in the vicinity of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed 11 workers and spewed 5 million barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico.

“The announcement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, says that British Petroleum is involved in the probe and that the source of the fresh oil could well be BP’s damaged rig.”

“This news is dismaying and upsetting, but it does not come as a complete surprise,” Smith reports in his blog post Wednesday. “As alluded to in NOAA’s incident report, oil leaks in the area have happened before in the time since the unchecked flow of oil from the damaged rig was first capped in the summer of 2010.”

Never capped: 30 months after rig explosion over Macondo Well, fresh crude pours into Gulf from that vicinity

Smith is among professionals who have stated that they believe the Macondo Well was never capped, as portrayed in an elaborate TV drama and in the print news reports.

Experts had also predicted such oil leaks would likely take place after the Deepwater Horizon rig was capped, according to Smith.

Oil sheen clearly seen on the water

“That’s because the blocked oil continues to seek a path to the surface, and that could create fissures or cracks in the sea floor for the hydrocarbons to escape.

“This situation is exactly what we’d warned about in 2010 — that the rig [disaster], caused by BP’s reckless and foolish actions, would continue to wreak havoc on the Gulf environment for years to come.”

Now, just north of the Gulf, a monster sinkhole at Bayou Corne is expanding out of control. Some experts speculate that the 2010 Gulf oil catastrophe might be contributing to the unstoppable sinkhole wreaking havoc in Assumption Parish.

“But there’s one other critical thing that I want to note here,” Smith states. “This fresh oil sheen comes just one month after Hurricane Isaac came and churned up a lot of the roughly 1 million barrels of BP oil that experts believe is still in the Gulf, dropping tar balls and other goo onto our formerly pristine beaches. And now this new revelation of leaking oil from Macondo comes at a very important time.

“In recent weeks, BP and a select group of lawyers tapped to represent Gulf citizens and small business owners — the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee, or PSC — has been pushing, and pushing hard, to ram through a $7.8 billion settlement of the plaintiff’s damage claims,” Smith says. “But several key players including the U.S. Justice Department and the states of Louisiana and Mississippi have objected to the settlement on a variety of legal and environmental grounds, while thousands of claimants, including those represented by my law firm, want the deal tossed out.

Facts bubble up…

“One of our big reasons for opposing the current $7.8 billion settlement is that it treats the BP oil spill as essentially over, when the reality is that oil from the Macondo field continues to assault our beaches and marshlands and threatens the integrity of our seafood.

“BP and the PSC also refuse to publicly release the scientific assumptions upon which the settlement is based. And now today, some 30 full months after the explosion on the rig, there is still fresh crude pouring into the Gulf from the vicinity of BP’s rig. This oily sheen should make things very clear:

Smith concludes what many human rights defenders have said and continue to say about the Gulf oil catastrophe coverup, one that might now include the sinkhole disaster:

“This is not over by a long shot and BP needs to come up with a lot more money. It’s time that BP and the Feds come clean about all this fresh oil.”

Deborah Dupré is author of the forthcoming book, “Vampire of Macondo,” about the 2010 BP oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.
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