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July 23, 2010 7:10 PM

Researchers confirm subsea Gulf oil plumes are from BP well

Through a chemical fingerprinting process, researchers have definitively linked clouds of underwater oil to BP's runaway Deepwater Horizon well — the first direct scientific link between the subsurface oil clouds commonly known as "plumes" and the BP oil spill. The finding confirms what in the early days of the spill was denied by BP and viewed skeptically by NOAA — that much of the crude from the Deepwater Horizon well stayed beneath the surface of the water.

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