Processing Magazine

Oil Arrives on Louisiana Shore

May 20, 2010
Heavy, sticky oil from a massive monthlong spill was starting to clog Louisiana marshes on the Gulf of Mexico as another edge of the partly submerged crude reached a powerful current that could take it to Florida and beyond, according to the Associated Press. Brown ooze that coated marsh grasses and hung in the shallow water of a wetland at Louisiana''s southeastern tip was the first heavy oil seen on shore since a BP PLC seafloor well blew out following an April 20 rig explosion. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Wednesday that a small portion of the slick had entered the so-called loop current, a stream of faster moving water that circulates around the Gulf before bending around Florida and up the Atlantic coast. Its arrival may portend a wider environmental catastrophe affecting the Florida Keys and tourist-dotted beaches along that state''s east coast. Even farther south, U.S. officials were talking to Cuba about how to respond to the spill should it reach the island''s northern coast.