Investigation determines Macondo 252 well head not leaking
NEW ORLEANS — Two remotely operated vehicles deployed to the Macondo 252 well head in the Gulf of Mexico, Thursday, have confirmed there is no oil leaking from the well head.
As part of the investigation into recent National Response Center reports of sheen observed in the vicinity of the source of last year's BP oil spill, two ROVs were deployed from the Grant Candies at approximately 4:30 p.m., to survey the well head. The ROVs began an initial 360 degree survey of the well head at 5:16 p.m., with a 20-foot radius, looking for evidence of leaking oil. Additionally, a zoom lens was used to examine both the well head and the base of the well head to look for smaller, less obvious signs of leakage. The ROV also visited the two relief well sites with negative findings. The survey concluded at approximately 2:30 a.m., and no evidence of leaking oil was found.
”U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Morgan City conducted an intense investigation to determine if there was a discharge of oil, and if so, the source,” said Capt. Jonathan Burton, commanding officer of MSU Morgan City. “This included checking all parties with wells or pipelines in the region as well as a Coast Guard overflight with a trained observer aboard and the dispatch of a Coast Guard patrol boat to the area. No sheen was sighted Thursday in virtually perfect conditions.”
Experts from the Coast Guard, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, BOEMRE, DOI, and representatives from BP, as well as the State On-Scene Coordinators for Louisiana and Mississippi, viewed the live feed from the ROVs and agreed that nothing shown from the ROVs indicated any sort of leak from the well head.
The ROVs are being brought to the surface where the video and data collected will be verified for accuracy.
“Sheen sightings are frequent in the Gulf of Mexico and despite the fact each is fully investigated, the source cannot always be determined. This was the case in the Morgan City zone for more than 300 reports last year," Burton said.
In 2010, MSU Morgan City received 2,231 NRC reports of which 372 reported sheens were of an unknown origin.