April 23, 2010 / 2:31 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Oil spill not growing, search for 11 continues

* Oil appears not to be gushing around sunken rig

* Still searching off Louisiana for 11 missing workers

* BP, Transocean shares lower (Recasting, adding update on search for 11 missing)

HOUSTON, April 23 (Reuters) - Oil appears not to be flowing from a sunken drilling rig and damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico, but hope was dimming as search continued for 11 workers missing in the disaster, the U.S. Coast Guard said Friday.

“As of right now, the spill is not growing,” a U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman said.

A remotely operated unmanned submarine sent down Thursday to inspect the scene found no oil leaking from the sunken Transocean Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and no oil flowing from the well, reducing the risk a major spill, a spokeswoman said.

On Thursday, officials said there was a slick 1 mile by 5 miles (1.6 km by 8 km), a mix of crude oil and fuel.

But 11 workers remained missing despite an intensive search and it was feared they were unable to escape the blast.

The Transocean Ltd (RIG.N) Deepwater Horizon sank Thursday after burning since Tuesday following an explosion while trying to temporarily cap a new well drilled for BP Plc (BP.L) 42 miles (68 km) southeast of Venice, Louisiana.

The blast occurred about 10 p.m. CDT Tuesday (0300 GMT Wednesday) as the rig was capping a discovery well pending production, company officials said. Some 115 of the 126 workers on board at the time of the explosion were rescued.

Shares of Transocean traded on the New York Stock Exchange fell 1.5 percent to $88.94, while shares of BP on the NYSE were off 37 cents $59.18. (Reporting by Bruce Nichols; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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