BP Says Latest Survey Found No Leak at Macondo Well

This was the fourth time since the Deepwater Horizon explosion that remotely operated vehicles allowed a visual inspection at the floor of the gulf.

BP announced Dec. 18 it had found no hydrocarbons leaking from the Macondo well or its associated relief wells on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico during a survey to identify potential sources of a surface sheen near the Deepwater Horizon accident site, where the drilling rig sank after an April 2010 explosion. This was the fourth time since the well was permanently sealed in September 2010 that it was visually inspected using remotely operated vehicles and confirmed not to be leaking, according to the energy company.

Under a plan approved by the Coast Guard, BP and Transocean deployed the ROVs to check whether there is residual oil still trapped under wreckage on the sea floor that may be escaping. BP noted the Coast Guard has concluded the sheen is not recoverable and poses no risk to the shoreline.

The ROVs inspected the drilling rig, portions of the riser that once connected the rig to the sea floor, BP's cofferdam (an 86-ton, steel container that was lowered over a leaking drill pipe), and at the Macondo well head and the well heads of two relief wells. "No conclusive evidence of hydrocarbons leaking was observed from any of the surveyed areas. However, a white, cloudy substance appeared to be emanating from several places on the overturned rig, and samples of the substance were collected. BP will review the results of the investigation with the Coast Guard," its news release stated.

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