BP and government officials seeking the origin of an oil slick used an undersea camera Tuesday to examine the area in the Gulf of Mexico where BP's Macondo well blew out two years ago.
A U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said officials were monitoring the video feed from the remotely operated vehicle that was launched Monday from a civilian boat 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana.
The development came as two lawmakers said they want BP's CEO to brief them on the oil giant's efforts to investigate and clean up the new slick, which has been traced to crude from the company's blown-out Macondo well.
BP believes the oil found on the surface Sept. 16 came from equipment associated with the well and not the well itself. It insists the integrity of the cap on the well is sound.
Besides the briefing from CEO Robert Dudley, Democratic U.S. Reps. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Henry Waxman of California want access to the undersea video feed.
But Coast Guard spokesman Glenn Sanchez said as far as he knows there is no plan to provide that access.
On Friday the U.S. Coast Guard told BP and Deepwater Horizon owner Transocean that they may be responsible for costs related to identifying the source of the sheen and cleanup.
The company isn't saying whether Dudley will meet with the congressmen but has promised a response to concerns they have raised. BP spokesman Brett Clanton said the company will continue to work with the Coast Guard and other federal agencies to investigate potential sources of the sheen.
Eleven rig workers were killed when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, and some 200 million gallons of oil spewed from BP's well a mile beneath the sea.
Markey and Waxman, who led investigations into the disaster, sent a letter to Dudley on Tuesday seeking a briefing by Oct. 30.
They want to know the size of the new slick, verification that the oil came from a piece of equipment associated with the well as BP believes, and assurances BP is cleaning up the oil and repairing any damage caused by the slick. Besides the live video feed, the lawmakers are seeking documents, maps, and other materials related to the probe.
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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