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Return to the Sheen: Latest Mystery Oil is Near Deepwater Horizon Site

by Chase Lowenstein

Once again, the U.S. Coast Guard is scrambling to make sense of recent releases of oil in the Gulf. The source of the latest sheen, which appeared near the site of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, remains a mystery. But the USCG is investigating the oil to attempt to determine the cause.


On Sept. 16, reports were filled concerning the oil sheen near the Macondo block. The original report had no information on what specific well was responsible for the spillage in  Mississippi Canyon. The report also didn't say what exactly the material was, or how much of it was released. Fast forward 18 days later - the USCG still has no idea who, what, why, or howmuch.


When asked if they've found any further information on the Macondo spillage, a U.S. Coast Guard rep told NOLA Defender that samples were sent to the Coast Guard Marine Safety Lab in Rockford Conneticut. The size of the sheen is still unknown.


Grand Isle is also going through a new oil issue. The Apache Corporaion dealt with some technical difficulties as one of their platforms experienced equipment failure on Oct. 2. The failure resulting in another sheen that consisted of crude oil released less than 20 miles from Grand Isle.


The incident report regarding the Grand Isle sheen stated that only 7 gallons of crude oil had be released. When asked for an update on size, Commanding Officer Bill Colclough told NOLA Defender, "It's approximately 76 gallons...and, right now, there is no recoverable product and there is no sheen". He went on to say, "There has been some natural dissipation and so forth but as of now there is no recoverable product".


The Coast Guard is still currently investigating the cause of the equipment failure in Grand Isle as well as the mystery sheen in Mississipi Canyon. With the help of the EPA, results should be released soon.

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