NPR logo BP: Sea Floor Seepage is Natural

BP: Sea Floor Seepage is Natural

Workboats operate near the Transocean Development Drilling Rig II at the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico.  Dave Martin/AP hide caption

toggle caption Dave Martin/AP

BP reports that the seepage about two miles away from the broken Macondo well isn't related to the troubled well.

There had been concern that the seepage spotted over the weekend could mean oil and gas from the damaged well was flowing into geologic formations from which they could eventually flow into the Gulf of Mexico. That would be a much more difficult situation to deal with it.

But BP said Monday that appeared not to be the case. That view was echoed by Adm. Thad Allen (ret.) at an afternoon briefing.

Other concerns are two apparent leaks, one from an area around the top of the well itself and one from the cap that was just last week placed on the well.

From Reuters:

"Scientists have concluded that the seep was naturally occurring," BP spokesman Mark Proegler told Reuters.

Another spokesman, Daren Beaudo, said BP was testing two sets of bubbles rising from the top of the wellhead. One was a "slow-developing gas bubble" on the sea floor near the top of the well. The other, which BP disclosed on Saturday, also wasnear the top of the well where a cap is shutting in all oil flow.

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