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UPDATE 1-BP says seepage unrelated to Macondo leak-spokesman
July 19, 2010 / 8:01 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-BP says seepage unrelated to Macondo leak-spokesman

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HOUSTON, July 19 (Reuters) - BP Plc (BP.L) (BP.N) said seepage nearly 2 miles (3 km) from its ruptured Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico is natural and is unrelated to the oil leak, a spokesman said.

"Scientists have concluded that the seep was naturally occurring," BP spokesman Mark Proegler told Reuters.

Another spokesman, Daren Beaudo, said BP was testing two sets of bubbles rising from the top of the wellhead. One was a "slow-developing gas bubble" on the seafloor near the top of the well. The other, which BP disclosed on Saturday, also was near the top of the well where a cap is shutting in all oil flow.

Beaudo said it is possible the bubbles are nitrogen, which can form at the seabed atop deepwater wells, rather than natural gas, which could signal a leak in the well. BP has taken samples of both bubbles for testing.

"We will communicate results when testing's complete," he said.

Reporting by Kristen Hays, Editing by Sandra Maler

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