22-Mile Oil Plume Found in Gulf

BP pushes back final cap for well to mid-September

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 20, 2010 8:29 AM CDT

(Newser) – Scientists have detected an underwater plume of oil the size of Manhattan, according to the Wall Street Journal. The findings, published yesterday, further undermine the Obama administration’s optimistic view that most of the Deepwater Horizon oil has already disappeared. The 22-mile-long underwater plume is also highly unusual. “If you’d asked me whether or not you would see oil in the subsurface, I would have said, 'No—doesn't oil float?'” one of the scientists who found it told NPR.

Meanwhile, BP announced that it would delay popping the final plug into the well until at least mid-September, in part because of weather conditions, and in part so the blowout preventer could be repaired first, in case something goes wrong.

Map locates large discovered oil plume   (Associated Press)
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research vessel Henry B. Bigelow sails on the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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