U.S. Coast Guard pilots have detected a huge new oil slick beneath dense smoke billowing from burning Kuwaiti oilfields.

Gulf environment officials in Bahrain said Tuesday the slick, about 55 miles east of the Saudi-Kuwait border, could pose the biggest threat yet to the eccology and economies of the gulf states."This is new," Abdullah Dabbagh, head of research at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, said at a meeting of the Regional Organization for the Protection of the Environment.

Millions of marine creatures have been killed by the clinging, suffocating oil, and the air over the whole northern gulf is an evil-smelling, blue-black soup. Gulf health officials have warned people with respiratory problems to stay indoors.