) -- Reports that oil leaks had appeared above


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sealed Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico were denied on Friday in a report by the company and the U.S. Coast Guard.



of Mobile, Ala. collected samples on Tuesday of oil from water about a mile from where the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig exploded in April 2010, resulting in the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry.

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Reports claimed that oil leaks appeared near the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded in April 2010

"BP confirmed through a standard visual wellhead inspection that there is no release of oil from the Macondo well," the company said on Friday. "BP and the U.S. Coast Guard have conducted multiple surveys of the area in recent days and found no evidence of oil sheens in the Macondo vicinity."

BP said its inspection of the wellhead was prompted by press reports of petroleum bubbles near the abandoned site.

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sent its oil samples to a pair of chemists at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La., who found that the samples matched the substance that spewed from the Macondo well more than a year ago.

The chemists added that the oil was likely from a broken riser pipe or sunken platform.

BP confirmed that the small, intermittent bubbles observed had emanated from cement ports at the base of the wellheads, which were a residual byproduct of the nitrified foam used to seal the well's surface with cement.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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