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BP Refuses to Provide Oil Samples to Scientists Investigating Underwater Plumes

BP has refused to supply samples that would prove -- or disprove -- that underwater oil plumes are from the Deepwater Horizon site. The scientist who requested the sample called the refusal "a little unsettling."

The giant deepwater plumes of oil in the Gulf of Mexico have been confirmed by the government, but one thing the testing couldn't confirm was that the oil below the surface is definitively from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. (The other possibility is the plumes are the result of natural seepage.)  

According to a lead scientist involved in the testing, an oil sample from the BP well would have helped ID the origin of the plumes, but BP refused to provide any samples, reported the St. Petersburg Times. "I was just taken aback by it," said the scientist, David Hollander, who's a professor of chemical oceanography at the University of South Florida. "It was a little unsettling."  

This is hardly the first time we've heard a scientist claiming that the oil company has stood in the way of efforts to obtain better information on the Gulf disaster. Ira Leifer, a scientist on the government's Flow Rate Technical Group told McClatchy that "we're still waiting" for BP to hand over data that would yield a more accurate flow rate estimate. We've also noted that in May, scientists stood ready to help measure the Gulf gusher, but BP turned down their offers to help.

I've left messages with BP and have not received a response. I'll update when I get one.

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