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Where is the oil?

This, from ABCNews, is fascinating:

For 86 days, oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico from BP's damaged well, dumping some 200 million gallons of crude into sensitive ecosystems. BP and the federal government have amassed an army to clean the oil up, but there's one problem -- they're having trouble finding it.

At its peak last month, the oil slick was the size of Kansas, but it has been rapidly shrinking, now down to the size of New Hampshire.

Today, ABC News surveyed a marsh area and found none, and even on a flight out to the rig site Sunday with the Coast Guard, there was no oil to be seen.

"That oil is somewhere. It didn't just disappear," said Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser.

Salvador Cepriano is one of the men searching for crude. Cepriano, a shrimper, has been laying out boom with his boat, but he's found that there's no oil to catch.

"I think it is underneath the water. It's in between the bottom and the top of the water," Cepriano said.

Even the federal government admits that locating the oil has become a problem.

"It is becoming a very elusive bunch of oil for us to find," said National Incident Cmdr. Thad Allen.


Still, it doesn't mean that all the oil that gushed for weeks is gone. Thousands of small oil patches remain below the surface, but experts say an astonishing amount has disappeared, reabsorbed into the environment.

"[It's] mother nature doing her job," said Ed Overton, a professor of environmental studies at Louisiana State University.

Experts: Gulf of Mexico Oil is Breaking Up

The light crude began to deteriorate the moment it escaped at high pressure, and then it was zapped with dispersants to speed the process along. The oil that did make it to the ocean's surface was broken up by 88-degree water, baked by 100-degree sun, eaten by microbes, and whipped apart by wind and waves.

Interesting stuff... I mean, we've been hearing about how environmentally disastrous this spill either is or is going to be for nearly 100 days... and now we're seeing these reports.

Thankfully, we know that environmentalists would never falsify or exaggerate a disaster to further an agenda.


Ask Al Gore.


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Comments (18)

It is my understanding that... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:

It is my understanding that oil breaks up and is consumed by enzymes much more rapidly in warm water. The Gulf of Mexico has amazingly warm temperatures this time of year. This obviously wasn't the case following the Exxon Valdez accident.

This is good news. Microbes... (Below threshold)

This is good news. Microbes doing the job. Instead of a twenty year recovery, maybe were looking at 1 year or less?

The question is what happen... (Below threshold)

The question is what happens to the oil that is deep before the surface and away from the sun/waves? This is wonderful news but the people along the coast might not be out of the woods yet.

Environmentalists, weatherm... (Below threshold)

Environmentalists, weathermen, global warming gurus, all three can't get paid based on performance as they would all starve. Think that pretty much sums up their reliability. mpw

The oil was destroyed by gl... (Below threshold)

The oil was destroyed by global warming. Wait for it - Al Gore gets another Nobel.

The question is what hap... (Below threshold)

The question is what happens to the oil that is deep before the surface and away from the sun/waves?

Crude oil floats. You'll find some traces of it lower down for a short time, but it will come to the surface pretty quickly. One study found oil lower down, but it was very small traces over a limited area, and it's pretty much gone by now.

Something to remember is that, when compared to the amount of water in the Gulf of Mexico, the oil that leaked out is a very, VERY small amount. One comparison was a 24 ounce can as compared to a sports stadium.

One hundred twenty million gallons compared to 640 quadrillion gallons...

And to think...we doubted O... (Below threshold)

And to think...we doubted Obama's earth-healing abilities...

Was reading an old newspape... (Below threshold)

Was reading an old newspaper the other day. It was about the long term affects of radiation on the environment in Hiroshima. According to 'several experts', "it will be well over 100 years before grass will grow again at ground zero."

That's where a big Peace Park is today, and it's had GRASS GROWING since the day it opened in the early 1950's.

Several years ago there was a severe drought in Kaleefornia. Pictures on the boob tube daily of reservoirs drying up. Cut to announcer "Experts say that it will take SEVERAL years of ABNORMAL rainfall to refill these reservoirs." It started raining on March 1st. 30 days later, the same boob tube was showing pictures of water TOPPING those same reservoirs.

God how I love it when "experts" talk.

#9America i... (Below threshold)


America is failing now. And were not very happy Rev Lee.

I don't get it, people. Wh... (Below threshold)

I don't get it, people. Why do you trust anything you read in any mainstream-media source anymore? Even when they aren't telling outright lies, they're often too stupid to get things right. If they say something that plays against what you believe, you ignore it or find reasons to disbelieve it. And yet, let them say something that plays into what you want to believe, and you shout it from the town square.

If it's in the mainstream media, I don't believe it. Period. That goes for politics, polls, international affairs, current events, science, and any other subject you can name. They get it wrong far more often than they get it right.

Once this became Obama's "K... (Below threshold)

Once this became Obama's "Katrina," the environmental groups fell silence. At best there were pokes at BP, but only for target problems.

@9: If Obama did lean on BP... (Below threshold)

@9: If Obama did lean on BP (a truly laughable idea that could only exist in fantasy considering what a limp-wristed weenie he is), it's the least he could do after enabling this mess in the first place, what with him giving BP special waivers to drill deeper in areas they were never allowed to or with deeming their rigs a model of safety (despite Bush's people shuting them down out of safety concerns) or ignoring more than two dozen nations offering aid or compromising clean-up/resistance efforts. But hey, some lead and others... well, they do whatever the hell Obama is doing now.

Kindly ignore Lee Ward at #... (Below threshold)

Kindly ignore Lee Ward at #9, folks.


Petroleum has been oozing f... (Below threshold)

Petroleum has been oozing from the Earth for millennia and for millennia the Nature's God has been disposing of it.

BP's CEO, Anthony Bryan "Tony" Hayward, who is no slouch, wasn't having a lend of himself when he quite accurately observed that the Gulf of Mexico is a mighty big volume of water and that was comparatively one tiny little oil leak in its bottom.

In scale? Picture a twelve ounce Coke can sitting in a rectangle box formed on a football field.

Much (gangster "administration" standover and shakedown) ado about nothing!

Like Valdez the crisis was ... (Below threshold)

Like Valdez the crisis was overstated but we should have acted quickly and in force to contain the oil spill to mitigate its impact.

One house or one block of houses is insignificant compare to the total number in the U.S. However when a house catches fire it needs to be taken care of and fast, especially if it is your house that is on fire.

You failed to mention the m... (Below threshold)
Jeff L:

You failed to mention the massive underwater plumes of oil from time magazine "scientists from the University of South Florida (USF), aboard the school's WeatherBird II survey ship, found a six-mi. (9.6 km) wide, 22-mi. (35.4 km) long plume 20 miles (32 km) northeast of the site of the wrecked oil rig. Just as the chemical models said dispersed oil should behave, the plume was floating 3,300 ft. (1 km) below the surface. One other plume in another location had previously been spotted by other observers. In an abundance of caution, the USF team would not say that the new formation definitely belonged to BP; there are an awful lot of messy rigs at work in the Gulf, after all. It would say only that the plumes were not naturally occurring"

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1995234,00.html#ixzz0uuBfkFg4

Now the oil has been chemically fingerprinted and it is in fact from the bp well. http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/07/23/1744643/researchers-link-underwater-oil.html

Perhaps the Navy should sen... (Below threshold)

Perhaps the Navy should send some boomers and fast attack boats to the Gulf for a thorough active sonar search for the oil. Is the Hughes Glomar Explorer available?

Ha, the Republicans are sec... (Below threshold)
rich K:

Ha, the Republicans are secretly storing the oil in underwater tanks and will let it out in a massive releak in late october to embarass the administration and sway the elections,Bwahahaha!!!






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