Hidden oil spill: New study contradicts owner's claims
By JANET McCONNAUGHEY
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A new federally led study of oil seeping from a platform toppled off Louisiana's coast 14½ years ago found releases lower than other recent estimates, but contradicts the well owner's assertions about the amount and source of oil.
Oil and gas have been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico since a subsea mudslide caused by Hurricane Ivan on Sept. 15, 2004, knocked over a Taylor Energy Co. production platform.
Taylor is fighting a federal order to cap the well. The company says oil sheens on the water's surface indicate there's only a dribble of oil.
The new report says its findings contradict that. The scientists used sonar and a new tool they call a "bubblometer" to estimate the seepage.
Taylor says it wants verifiable scientific data about the leak and a scientifically and environmentally sound solution.
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