A federal agency says natural seepage of oil and gas from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico may be the source of an oil sheen off the Louisiana coast.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said Friday that the sheen is near an area where seepage is known to occur. The bureau said an investigation by Royal Dutch Shell, which has operations in the area, indicates oil and gas is being released from the seep area.
The sheen was initially measured at about 10 miles long and a mile wide when it was spotted Wednesday.
The Coast Guard said that by Thursday night it was about five miles long and 100 yards wide and is breaking up about 130 miles southeast of New Orleans.