Almost 1 year after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico officials in New Orleans are baffled by the appearance of another massive oil slick, possibly 100-miles wide, spotted in the Gulf over the weekend. Though the oil sheen is close to the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster authorities have no idea where it came from. Word from on high (meaning no one is sighting a source) is that the Deepwater Horizon well is not leaking. Reports so far have been, as one news outlet stated, “sketchy and contradictory.” Hypotheses of the origin of this mysterious slick include yet another spill (but absolutely not the Deepwater Horizon) or the reemergence of thousands of gallons of dispersant mixed with oil that dropped below the surface during BP’s “cleanup effort.” The local Coast Guard released a statement with another theory:
"At this point, the dark substance is believed to be caused by a tremendous amount of sediment being carried down the Mississippi River due to high water, possibly further agitated by dredging operations," the Coast Guard release said.
A spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers, however, said none of the three dredges operating near the mouth of the Mississippi River has reported any oil in the material they're removing from the river bottom to keep the channel deep enough for ocean-going ships.
Wherever the oil is coming from it is currently washing up along a 30 mile stretch of coast in the form of tar balls and "…these orange, nasty waves [with] black oil mixed with it," according to Grand Isle resident Betty Doud. Grand Isle has put down almost 20,000 feet of boom to try and stop the oil from invading the delicate marshlands they fought to save last summer.
The oil is sure to be a welcome sight to the droves of spring breakers expected to descend on the Gulf beaches in the next few weeks.
UPDATE: Source of Mysterious Oil Spill Discovered
Anglo-Suisse Offshore Partners has issued a statement today taking responsibility for the 100-mile oil slick that appeared off the coast of Louisiana over the weekend. Their statement, I imagine, went something like this,
“Oops our bad. We thought we plugged the well. We could have sworn it only leaked 5 gallons. We are totally shocked and surprised that that slick is ours. Don’t worry that well is now completely sealed. Do we still have to pay for cleanup? I mean, come on there is already oil in that water. Is a little more really going to be a problem?”*
*A statement composed entirely by Raegan Payne based on the word surprised in Anglo-Suisse’s statement