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BP Recoups Billions From Gulf Oil Sale


A week after a legal basting by the feds that makes a settlement for the Deepwater Horizon disaster seem unlikely, BP is making good on a plan that would free up money to pay penalties and cleanup costs. The company announced it was making good on a plan to sell off $5.5 billion if Gulf oil assets Monday morning. The British oil giant is selling its stake in three operational oil drilling areas to Plains Exploration and Prodcution Co., according to a statement released this morning. The sale of the assets is widely believed to be necessary for the company to cover the Big Oozy cleanup. However, BP didn't say as much in their statement.


Tar Mat Troubles Force Closure Along La. Shore


Isaac may have rolled out the tar mat. On Tuesday, the state announced it was closing a dozen-mile area of coastline between Port Fourchon and Elmer's Island because a new tar mat has emerged in the Gulf of Mexico, and a "large concentration" of tar balls are washing up on the beach. The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries didn't pin the oil to the Deepwater Horizon and BP, but said it will test the petrol to determine the source.


Dispersants Could've Disrupted Gulf Ecosystem, Study Says


by Mary-Devon Dupuy

Back during the Big Oozy, BP touted their use of dispersants to make the oil go away, but skeptics questioned wihether the chemicals would have lasting impacts on the Gulf's ecosystem, and the health of the people who live on the Coast. On the ecosystem front, a new study from the Dauphin Island Sea Lab indicates the skeptics were on the right track. The study, released yeterday, concluded that dispersants disturb marine food chains and ultimately do more harm than good for the Gulf.


Dead Zone Down After Drought


Early scientific wagers placed the size of this year's Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico somewhere between Rhode Island and Connecticut. But it turns out New England did not hold the answer. Researchers' annual cruise ended up leading to a number closer to the size of French Southern and Antarctic Lands. According to Nancy Rabalais of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, the area of oxygen-starved water off the coast that's caused by fertilizer and other chemicals in Mississippi River runoff is the about 2,900 square miles - the 4th smallest on record since 1985.


Cold Water Could Have Been Factor in Post-Oozy Dolphin Deaths, Scientists Say


When dead dolphins starting washing up on Gulf Coast beaches last year, everyone started crying oil. But a new paper in the journal PloS ONE suggests there was another factor that might have been the ultimate cause of death. Cold water in the Gulf that flowed from the spring snowmelt might have been the final straw for the 186 dolphins - including 86 infants - that died over the first four months of 2011.


Dead Zone Dilemma


When it comes to the Gulf of Mexico's annual summer Dead Zone, scientists are left asking: "Is Michigan low-balling us or is Louisiana just bluffing?" According to the University of Michigan, the huge area of oxygen-starved Mississippi River runoff that kills off or pushes aside marine life will be one of the smallest ever. Researchers in Ann Arbor compared their projected zone this year to Rhode Island.. But Louisiana researchers are raising them a New England state.


BP, Shell Bid High at First Gulf Oil Sale Since Disaster


by Shay Sokol

The feds haven't gotten to the bottom of the Big Oozy yet, but they threw oil companies itching to go back to the bottom of the Gulf a bone yesterday, allowing the black gold miners to bid on new tracts of land for drilling in the same area of the body of water as the Macondo well for the first time since the Deepwater Horizon blew. Centered at the Superdome, the first offshore oil lease sale in the Central Gulf since 2010 brought 56 offshore energy companies to submit 593 bids on 2.4 million acres.


Copter Crash Claims 1 in the Gulf


The Coast Guard is crediting good samaritans with finding the remains of a helicopter pilot who crashed off Grand Isle in the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend. On Monday, a team of divers found the pilot, whose helicopter was reported crashed Sunday about 35 miles off the coast. The pilot, who Houma Today is identifiying as Arturo LeBron, of Lafayette, was discovered in the cockpit of the aircraft, according to a Coast Guard news release. 


Bottom Dweller: 200-Year-Old Shipwreck Discovered in the Gulf


Cannons. Muskets. Bottles of gin! The booty is at the bottom of the Gulf this week after the surprising discovery of a wrecked ship. The wooden vessel, which is mostly rotted away except for its copper hull, is thought to be 200 years old. It was discovered 4,000 ft. down and 200 miles offshore after a Shell exploration company pointed out the site, and a NOAA exploration boat got down there with robots. The ship was dated using ceramic plates that were popular between 1800-1830, and glass bottles. Those who happened to be tuned in to the live feed of the Okeanos Explorer's 56-day voyage got to see the whole thing unfold in real time. We're glad to see the SpillCam go to the good. 


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Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde

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Linzi Falk

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Alexis Manrodt


B. E. Mintz


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