On Thursday, shares of Royal Dutch Shell dropped as it was stepping up the monitoring of a Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The market is still shaky following the 2010 BP disaster of Deepwater Horizon. The company sent a vessel, dedicated to responding to spills, to the area and aircraft were going to monitor the oil sheen near Shell’s platforms in the central part of the Gulf of Mexico.
In London, Shell dropped by 5%, while shares on Wall Street opened down. The bad news about the oil sheen comes nearly two years to the date from a deep sea well disaster where close to five million barrels of crude bled into the Gulf.
The sheen is reported to be a mile wide by 10 miles long is big and is a concern. The sheen is light and probably is from only a couple of barrels. The sheen was reported by Shell to be between is Ursa and Mars projects and they notified the National Response Center that is run by the U.S. Coast Guard. The Center follows all pipeline leaks, oil spills and other incidents that could cause pollution.
By market value, Shell is the largest oil company in Europe and it said the sheen’s source was still unknown, but it said there had been no indication its origin had been from one of the wells at the Ursa or Mars projects.
Shell has 71% ownership in the Mars project and just over 45% interest in the Ursa project. It also operates both of the projects. BP owns nearly 29% of the Mars projects and 23% of the Ursa project.