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Old June 8th, 2010, 05:26 PM
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Default Subsea oil plumes found 142 miles from rig

Crude is moving through Gulf like ash from a volcano, official says



Patches of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill are seen from an underwater vantage, Monday, June 7, 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico south of Venice, La..



Clouds of oil have been found drifting underwater in the Gulf of Mexico as far as 142 miles from the wrecked Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, government officials said Tuesday.

At a briefing, Jane Lubchenko, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), said that tests conducted at three sites by a University of South Florida research vessel confirmed oil as far as 3,300 feet below the surface.

The oil was found 42 miles northeast of the well site and also 142 miles to the southeast.

Lubchenko said the tests "indicate there is definitely oil sub surface. It's in very low concentrations" of 0.5 parts per million.

There have been reports of such underwater "plumes" previously, but BP had questioned whether oil was actually forming below water.

On May 30, BP's CEO Tony Hayward denied the existence of oil plumes. "The oil is on the surface. It's very difficult for oil to stay in a column," he said. "It wants to go to the surface because of the difference in specific gravity."

This is the first time the presence of oil plumes has been confirmed by a government agency.

Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen said while the term plume had been used widely for several weeks, it was technically incorrect. "Cloud is a better term," he said Tuesday.

Allen added that one of the four vents on the containment cap was now closed.

Lubchenco said the oil could be compared to ash from a volcano, with the liquid rising in a plume and then forming an underwater cloud that drifts about the currents, NBC reported.

Scientists were using samples from three different sites to create an MRI-like 3-D picture to see where the subsurface oil is and where it is drifting, NBC said.

Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen said while the term plume had been used widely for several weeks, it was technically incorrect. "Cloud is a better term," he said Tuesday.

Allen added that one of the four vents on the containment cap was now closed.

Lubchenco said the oil could be compared to ash from a volcano, with the liquid rising in a plume and then forming an underwater cloud that drifts about the currents, NBC reported.

Scientists were using samples from three different sites to create an MRI-like 3-D picture to see where the subsurface oil is and where it is drifting, NBC said.

Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen said while the term plume had been used widely for several weeks, it was technically incorrect. "Cloud is a better term," he said Tuesday.

Allen added that one of the four vents on the containment cap was now closed.

Lubchenco said the oil could be compared to ash from a volcano, with the liquid rising in a plume and then forming an underwater cloud that drifts about the currents, NBC reported.

Scientists were using samples from three different sites to create an MRI-like 3-D picture to see where the subsurface oil is and where it is drifting, NBC said.

Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen said while the term plume had been used widely for several weeks, it was technically incorrect. "Cloud is a better term," he said Tuesday.

Allen added that one of the four vents on the containment cap was now closed.

Lubchenco said the oil could be compared to ash from a volcano, with the liquid rising in a plume and then forming an underwater cloud that drifts about the currents, NBC reported.

Scientists were using samples from three different sites to create an MRI-like 3-D picture to see where the subsurface oil is and where it is drifting, NBC said.

Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen said while the term plume had been used widely for several weeks, it was technically incorrect. "Cloud is a better term," he said Tuesday.

Allen added that one of the four vents on the containment cap was now closed.

Lubchenco said the oil could be compared to ash from a volcano, with the liquid rising in a plume and then forming an underwater cloud that drifts about the currents, NBC reported.

Scientists were using samples from three different sites to create an MRI-like 3-D picture to see where the subsurface oil is and where it is drifting, NBC said.

Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen said while the term plume had been used widely for several weeks, it was technically incorrect. "Cloud is a better term," he said Tuesday.

Allen added that one of the four vents on the containment cap was now closed.

Lubchenco said the oil could be compared to ash from a volcano, with the liquid rising in a plume and then forming an underwater cloud that drifts about the currents, NBC reported.

Scientists were using samples from three different sites to create an MRI-like 3-D picture to see where the subsurface oil is and where it is drifting, NBC said.

Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen said while the term plume had been used widely for several weeks, it was technically incorrect. "Cloud is a better term," he said Tuesday.

Allen added that one of the four vents on the containment cap was now closed.

Lubchenco said the oil could be compared to ash from a volcano, with the liquid rising in a plume and then forming an underwater cloud that drifts about the currents, NBC reported.

Scientists were using samples from three different sites to create an MRI-like 3-D picture to see where the subsurface oil is and where it is drifting, NBC said.

Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen said while the term plume had been used widely for several weeks, it was technically incorrect. "Cloud is a better term," he said Tuesday.

Allen added that one of the four vents on the containment cap was now closed.

Lubchenco said the oil could be compared to ash from a volcano, with the liquid rising in a plume and then forming an underwater cloud that drifts about the currents, NBC reported.

Scientists were using samples from three different sites to create an MRI-like 3-D picture to see where the subsurface oil is and where it is drifting, NBC said.

Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen said while the term plume had been used widely for several weeks, it was technically incorrect. "Cloud is a better term," he said Tuesday.

Allen added that one of the four vents on the containment cap was now closed.

Lubchenco said the oil could be compared to ash from a volcano, with the liquid rising in a plume and then forming an underwater cloud that drifts about the currents, NBC reported.

Scientists were using samples from three different sites to create an MRI-like 3-D picture to see where the subsurface oil is and where it is drifting, NBC said.

Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen said while the term plume had been used widely for several weeks, it was technically incorrect. "Cloud is a better term," he said Tuesday.

Allen added that one of the four vents on the containment cap was now closed.

Lubchenco said the oil could be compared to ash from a volcano, with the liquid rising in a plume and then forming an underwater cloud that drifts about the currents, NBC reported.

Scientists were using samples from three different sites to create an MRI-like 3-D picture to see where the subsurface oil is and where it is drifting, NBC said.

"Additional work is needed to better understand the fate and transport of hydrocarbons within the deeper waters of the Northern Gulf of Mexico," NOAA said in a document which detailed the findings.

The document said "a more complete and robust understanding" of the movement of the oil under the sea's surface was "critical," pointing out that there were varying sources, including natural ones, of oil in the sea.



Msnbc.com staff, Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this story.







<hr>Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.<hr>


Big T



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