Researchers confirm subsea Gulf oil plumes are from BP well

Saturday, July 24, 2010
By Paul Martin

By Sara Kennedy
McClatchy Newspapers
Friday, July 23, 2010

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Through a chemical fingerprinting process, University of South Florida researchers have definitively linked clouds of underwater oil in the northern Gulf of Mexico to BP’s runaway Deepwater Horizon well — the first direct scientific link between the subsurface oil clouds commonly known as “plumes” and the BP oil spill, USF officials said Friday.

Until now, scientists had circumstantial evidence, but lacked that definitive scientific link.

The announcement came on the same day that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that its researchers have confirmed the existence of the subsea plumes at depths of 3,300 to 4,300 feet below the surface of the Gulf. NOAA said its detection equipment also implicated the BP well in the plumes’ creation.

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