NOAA Issues Summary Report of Oil Fate

4 August 2012

As soon as a “top kill” operation apparently stopped the flow of oil from the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico, the US government agency leading the response to the devastating blowout issued a five-page update on the oil. (See the entire report HERE). According to the findings, a total of 4.9 million barrels of oil escaped from the well, making it the second largest spill ever. A pie chart shows that 25% of the total was removed by burning, skimming or direct recovery; 25% naturally dissolved or evaporated; 24% dispersed, naturally or chemically; 26% remains as surface sheen and tar balls or has washed ashore and been disposed of. Despite the soothing spin of the report—repeated assurances that the oil is biodegrading, that numerous scientists are working on assessment and that agencies are continuing to monitor—there are virtually no data nor references to data that could be verified by independent researchers. Government promises of transparency have been smothered by red tape and legal restrictions that continue to hamper access to sites or information. The report has been received with little confidence in its accuracy and a great deal of demand for more.