Seeping Oil May Be 'Natural'
Feds believe leak was hidden while well was gushing
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2010 3:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Coast Guard believes the oil seeping out of the sea floor near BP’s infamous well is entirely natural, Admiral Thad Allen tells the BBC. Oil has been detected about 1.9 miles from the well, but such leaks can occur naturally on the ocean floor, and may have simply been impossible to detect while the well was gushing huge plumes of oil into the water.

But Allen noted that they’ve also found “anomalies” within a few hundred meters of the well, that have yet to be explained. They’ve also spotted troubling bubbles of gas and small amounts of oil flowing out of the cap. BP is hoping that the cap will hold until its relief wells are finished. But “I’m not prepared to say the well is shut in,” Allen says, “There are too many uncertainties.”