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Press Release 13-125

Study Identifies Source of Oil Sheens Near Deepwater Horizon Site

Chemical analysis shows that source is oil pockets trapped in wreckage of sunken rig

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Surface oil sheen seen in October, 2012, near the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Surface oil sheen seen in October 2012, near the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Credit: Chris Reddy, WHOI


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Scientists Chris Reddy (foreground) and Dave Valentine in a plane

Scientists Chris Reddy (foreground) and Dave Valentine on an overflight in January 2013.

Credit: Chris Reddy, WHOI


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Oil sheens overlying the wreckage of the Deepwater Horizon seen from the air

Oil sheens overlying the wreckage of the Deepwater Horizon, seen during the overflight.

Credit: Dave Valentine, UCSB


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Chemical compounds present in an oil sheen sample, highlighting the olefin fingerprint.

Chemical compounds present in an oil sheen sample, highlighting the olefin fingerprint.

Credit: Robert Nelson


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Photo of scientists on a boat: Valentine; Nelson; Kellermann, Reddy.

Sampling team in October 2012, left to right: Valentine; Nelson; Kellermann, Reddy.

Credit: Chris Reddy, WHOI


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Researcher Robert Nelson samples the sheens using a telescoping rod with a screen.

Researcher Robert Nelson sampled the sheens using a telescoping rod with a screen.

Credit: Chris Reddy, WHOI


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