Oil sheen mysteriously appears off Louisiana's Gulf Coast
December 4, 2012 -- Updated 1553 GMT (2353 HKT)
- The Coast Guard has discovered a 4-mile-long oil sheen in the Gulf of Mexico
- Response teams collect samples for testing
- The oil is near the location of the disastrous 2010 Gulf oil spill
(CNN) -- An oil sheen about four miles long has appeared in the Gulf of Mexico near the site of the worst oil spill in U.S. history, a Coast Guard spokesman said Thursday.
It was not immediately clear where the oil is coming from, said Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Tippets.
The Coast Guard found out about the oil sheen on September 16 after someone spotted it on a satellite image from the multinational oil and gas company BP, Tippets said. A Coast Guard response team went to the location to collect samples, and sent them to the Coast Guard Marine Safety Lab in Connecticut for testing. Test results are expected in a few weeks, Tippets said.
The service's Marine Safety Unit Morgan City, in Louisiana, is heading up the investigation of the spill, which is in the part of the Gulf officially designated MC252. No one has reported any adverse effects on the environment or marine life, Tippets said.
Timeline: Oil spill in the Gulf in 2010
2011: One year after Gulf oil disaster
Families 'pleased' with BP settlement
The sheen is near the spot where, on April 20, 2010, BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded over the Macondo well, killing 11 workers and spewing oil that spread across a huge portion of the Gulf.
The badly damaged mile-deep well leaked oil into the Gulf of Mexico for five months. On September 19, 2010, retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who led the federal disaster response, declared that a cement plug had permanently sealed the leak, so that it posed no further threat.
In total, about 4.9 million barrels (205.8 million gallons) of oil leaked into the Gulf, according to estimates from federal scientists.
In an incident that appears unrelated to the new oil sheen, the Coast Guard's Morgan City unit also is investigating a small amount of oil leaked from a Gulf oil platform.
Companies involved in 2010 Gulf spill didn't focus on accident risks
Apache Corp. reported the spill to the Coast Guard and regulators as soon as the company noticed the leak on Tuesday, said Apache spokesman John Roper.
He said a valve problem caused less than two barrels (84 gallons) of oil to spill into the water near Grand Isle, Louisiana.
No marine or environmental damage has been reported from this incident either, Tippets said.
CNN's AnneClaire Stapleton contributed to this report
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.