Sheen Seen in Gulf

After spotting a sheen in the Gulf of Mexico yesterday, a federal agency has required to Royal Dutch Shell to send down a remote submersible to check the sea floor for leaking wells or natural seepage.

“The source has not been identified,” said Eileen Angelico, a public affairs officer with the Gulf of Mexico Region Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

First spotted yesterday by the federal agency, the sheen is reportedly about 10 square miles in size and is located about 130 miles southeast of New Orleans. Shell has two drilling platforms in the area.

Angelico said that she did not know how long it would take the ROVs to search the bottom for possible sources of the sheen. She expects to hear further updates later on today.

“It just depends on the weather conditions and how long it takes,” she said. “Hours, not days.”

The BSEE agent said that BP’s Macondo well—the source of the 2010 oil spill—is not being considered as a source of this sheen. That well is located about 50 miles away from the area of concern.