New BP Oil Spill Report - 80 Percent of Oil Still in Gulf
For the past month, scientists and other observers have been wondering about the rapid disappearance of the surface and sub-surface oil from the BP oil spill. Early assessments indicated that 74 percent of the spilled BP oil had been skimmed, burned, coagulated, or dispersed. More recent analyses, however, indicate that up to 80 percent of the BP oil spill is still in the Gulf, and remains a significant environmental threat.
Two separate reports published today from the University of Georgia and University of South Florida conclude that it is likely that oil from the BP oil spill may have drifted further east along the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico than had been expected.
The dispersant may have caused coagulated oil to sink deep into an undersea canyon off the Florida Panhandle where it is toxic to phytoplankton and other marine creatures. Since much of the marine life in the canyon area is an integral part of the marine food chain, the residual oil from the BP oil spill could prove to be just as harmful as it was initially expected to be.
The reports also indicate that the coagulated oil from the BP oil spill could still resurface at some later date when the tarry material begins to break down. It could take years before the oil spill goes away completely.