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Gulf Oil Sheen Blamed On 2010 Wreckage, Not Well

Csulak said BP and Transocean Ltd., the drilling company contracted by BP to drill the well, have been given until Friday to provide a plan of action. He said the companies could be asked to remove whatever oil is left in the riser.

"It would be possible to remove the oil; it's not going to be easy," he said. The amount of oil that leaked out is small and that once the oil reached the surface "it evaporates and dissipates within hours."

He added that surveys hopefully would determine what's going on deep down on the Gulf floor. "We have no idea if oil is coming out of one spot or multiple locations," Csulak said. It's unknown if it was a steady leak or intermittent.

Still, the sheen and acknowledgement that BP's oil is reaching the surface of the Gulf sparked a new flurry of condemnation of the oil giant and stoked claims that BP and the Coast Guard have been unwilling to investigate whether BP's well was completely sealed in. Independent scientists and environmental activists have reported observing sheens around the Macondo well for more than a year.

On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., demanded that BP be forced to conduct new surveys of the well and the wreckage around it. He said BP should allow the public to view underwater video of its surveys in real-time.

"One can only hope that the nightmare well has not come back to haunt the people of the Gulf," Markey said. "There is no room for error, and no room for obfuscation, when it comes to this matter."

Brett Clanton, a BP spokesman, said the company had been working closely with federal agencies to investigate the sheen. He added that there was no indication that oil had leaked from the capped well.

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