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20160518 Wednesday
Offshore Gulf of Mexico, approximately 200 miles south-southwest of New Orleans

Today we made a second flight  to the vicinity of last week's Shell Oil leak, which we first documented with photos and video last Sunday May 15. 

This time we went to provide aerial spotting to a scientific research vessel whose mission was to sample oil at that site and others in the Gulf of Mexico waters south of Louisiana. 

20160516 Monday
Approximately 200 miles south-southwest of New Orleans, Gulf of Mexico
Oil leak from Shell Oil wells in Green Canyon lease block, connected to Brutus collection platform in lease block GC248
 
     The oil spill you have heard about since last Friday is about 30 nm (nautical miles) west of the Brutus platform in the Green Canyon lease block (GC248), roughly 100 miles south of Port Fourchon, LA.  

     They say they have stopped the leak (which does not mean they know where it is). Yesterday there were two skimming vessels in the vicinity, but they appeared to be on the distant periphery of the slick, and the amount of oil that appeared to be within their booms was pitifully small compared to the size of the slick, which covered over 5 square nautical miles (20 square kilometers, or about 5,000 acres). Even if the average thickness of the visible oil were a mere 100 micron (0.1 millimeter, vastly smaller than the areas of emulsified oil that stretch across the area), the visible surface oil would represent about 500,000 gallons of oil.  We haven't seen images like this since the BP disaster of 2010.