No end in sight for oil in the Gulf of Mexico, Dahr Jamail, September 13, 2011:
The possibility that brings the greatest concern is that oil is leaking from the reservoir straight out of the ground. This situation could be impossible to stop, because the vent would increase in size over time due to the highly pressurised reservoir.
"We can tell you that we recently sent a remote operated submarine down to inspect the Macondo well cap and the relief well cap [...] Both are intact and show no evidence of any oil leak. So no oil is leaking from the Macondo well." -BP spokesman
"It very well could be from natural seeps [...] What we are saying for sure is that it is not from our well head." -BP spokesman
Dr Ira Leifer, a University of California scientist who is an expert on natural hydrocarbon oil and gas emissions from the seabed:
- "From what I've seen, this new oil and sheen definitely seemed larger than typical natural seepages found in the Gulf of Mexico."
- "Because of the size and its location, there is a greater concern that should require a larger public investigation."
- "I see these new observations (of the seep) as the canary in the coal mine that indicates something could be changing at the seabed and should not be ignored and hope it goes away."
- "It could be a persistent, significant, continuous oil spill again, and that would require BP to go back and re-drill, and block off the pipeline even deeper than they already did, or else they would be liable for whatever the emissions are, forever, because it's not going to stop for a very long time."
- "There is natural migration in the area around Macondo, and one of the sites we've studied is MC118, about 18 km away [...] The concern is not that human activities caused a fault, but by creating pathways outside the (well) casing, they are allowing oil to travel along the well pipe then migrate horizontally until it intersects an existing vertical fault migration pathway, then reach the sea bed."
- "Definitely seems larger than typical natural seepages found in the Gulf of Mexico; both because of that and its location, there is a greater concern that should require a larger public investigation."
"I don't understand why we're seeing so much more oil out there right now than we’ve seen in the past [...] We need to dig in and investigate and see what is going on." -Dr. Ian MacDonald, a professor of biological oceanography at Florida State University, expert at locating natural oil releases on the ocean surface