By Press-Register staff
May 25, 2010, 11:15AM
WASHINGTON -- Live video of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill shows the underwater plume getting significantly darker. A top oil engineering expert says that suggests heavier, more-polluting oil is spewing out.
The color of the oil gushing from the main pipe has changed in color from medium gray to black. Two scientists noticed the change, which oil company BP downplayed as a natural fluctuation that is not likely permanent.
But engineering professor Bob Bea at the University of California at Berkeley says the color change may indicate the BP leak has hit a reservoir of more oil and less gas. Gas is less polluting because it evaporates. Bea has spent more than 55 years working and studying oil rigs.
Oil has been spewing from the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded April 20.