• 10 hours Shell Oil Trading Head Steps Down After 29 Years
  • 14 hours Higher Oil Prices Reduce North American Oil Bankruptcies
  • 16 hours Statoil To Boost Exploration Drilling Offshore Norway In 2018
  • 17 hours $1.6 Billion Canadian-US Hydropower Project Approved
  • 19 hours Venezuela Officially In Default
  • 21 hours Iran Prepares To Export LNG To Boost Trade Relations
  • 23 hours Keystone Pipeline Leaks 5,000 Barrels Into Farmland
  • 1 day Saudi Oil Minister: Markets Will Not Rebalance By March
  • 1 day Obscure Dutch Firm Wins Venezuelan Oil Block As Debt Tensions Mount
  • 2 days Rosneft Announces Completion Of World’s Longest Well
  • 2 days Ecuador Won’t Ask Exemption From OPEC Oil Production Cuts
  • 2 days Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Proposes To Ditch Oil Stocks
  • 2 days Ecuador Seeks To Clear Schlumberger Debt By End-November
  • 2 days Santos Admits It Rejected $7.2B Takeover Bid
  • 2 days U.S. Senate Panel Votes To Open Alaskan Refuge To Drilling
  • 2 days Africa’s Richest Woman Fired From Sonangol
  • 3 days Oil And Gas M&A Deal Appetite Highest Since 2013
  • 3 days Russian Hackers Target British Energy Industry
  • 3 days Venezuela Signs $3.15B Debt Restructuring Deal With Russia
  • 3 days DOJ: Protestors Interfering With Pipeline Construction Will Be Prosecuted
  • 3 days Lower Oil Prices Benefit European Refiners
  • 3 days World’s Biggest Private Equity Firm Raises $1 Billion To Invest In Oil
  • 4 days Oil Prices Tank After API Reports Strong Build In Crude Inventories
  • 4 days Iraq Oil Revenue Not Enough For Sustainable Development
  • 4 days Sudan In Talks With Foreign Oil Firms To Boost Crude Production
  • 4 days Shell: Four Oil Platforms Shut In Gulf Of Mexico After Fire
  • 4 days OPEC To Recruit New Members To Fight Market Imbalance
  • 4 days Green Groups Want Norway’s Arctic Oil Drilling Licenses Canceled
  • 4 days Venezuelan Oil Output Drops To Lowest In 28 Years
  • 4 days Shale Production Rises By 80,000 BPD In Latest EIA Forecasts
  • 5 days GE Considers Selling Baker Hughes Assets
  • 5 days Eni To Address Barents Sea Regulatory Breaches By Dec 11
  • 5 days Saudi Aramco To Invest $300 Billion In Upstream Projects
  • 5 days Aramco To List Shares In Hong Kong ‘For Sure’
  • 5 days BP CEO Sees Venezuela As Oil’s Wildcard
  • 5 days Iran Denies Involvement In Bahrain Oil Pipeline Blast
  • 7 days The Oil Rig Drilling 10 Miles Under The Sea
  • 8 days Baghdad Agrees To Ship Kirkuk Oil To Iran
  • 8 days Another Group Joins Niger Delta Avengers’ Ceasefire Boycott
  • 8 days Italy Looks To Phase Out Coal-Fired Electricity By 2025

10 Million Gallons Of Oil On Ocean Floor From BP Spill

10 Million Gallons Of Oil On Ocean Floor From BP Spill

BP Oil and Coral

This October 2010 photo provided by Penn State University shows the arms of a brittle starfish, red in color, clinging to coral damaged by the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico.

Credit: AP Photo/NOAA and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Scientists have discovered yet another unforeseen effect of BP’s historic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico: a 1,235-square-mile “bathub ring” of oil on the deep ocean’s floor.

Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science on Monday showed that approximately 10 million gallons of oil settled and coagulated on the floor of the Gulf near the Deepwater Horizon rig, which spilled a total of 172 million gallons of oil into the ocean in April 2010. That oil left a footprint on the ocean floor about two times the size of the city of Houston, Texas, and approximately the size of the state of Rhode Island, the study said.

Related: UK Wants U.S. Supreme Court To Limit BP Liability For Deepwater Horizon

Study author David Valentine told the Associated Press that tests to determine the oil’s chemical signature were not performed because the oil has degraded in the four and a half years since the spill occurred, but also said it’s obvious where the oil is from, since it settled directly around the site of the damaged rig. BP disputes the claim, telling Fuel Fix that the researchers need to chemically identify the source of the oil before they can credibly blame the company.

Still, the research serves to try and answer some of the lingering questions from the 2010 oil spill, the largest in U.S. history. One of those questions is where all the oil went — approximately 2 million barrels were never found — and another is how the spill impacted the health of the deep sea. In July, a scientist who led a study on the impacts of the BP spill and found a wider range of impact on the deep sea than previously believed, told ThinkProgress that he was worried about how much we don’t yet know.

“What we still don’t know, and what we need to all keep in mind, is that there’s the potential for sub-acute impact,” Penn State University’s Charles Fisher said at the time. “In other words, things that might have happened to corals’ reproductive system — slower acting cancers, changes in the fitness of the animal. These are very hard to detect and they’ll take a long time for us to see what’s going on.”

Related: BP May Owe Anglers $585 Million After Oil Spill

BP has maintained that most of the unrecovered light sweet crude oil dissolved or evaporated before it reached land, and that it didn’t settle on the ocean floor. Indeed, just last week, Politico published an article written by BP senior vice president of communications Geoff Morrell titled “No, BP Didn’t Ruin The Gulf.” The article argued that the Gulf of Mexico has “inherent resilience” when it comes to oil spills and that environmentalists are overreacting about its impacts.

On Monday, Politico ran a response to that article, titled “Yes, BP Did Damage The Gulf.” The article, written by the Ocean Conservency’s Gulf Restoration director Kara Lankford, slammed BP for attempting to downplay the effects of the spill on the Gulf’s ecosystem.

“We would like to invite Geoff Morrell to sit down with us to discuss the scientific evidence of impacts from the BP oil disaster, as it seems he may be unaware of some important research,” Lankford wrote. “We look forward to the Gulf’s full restoration and hope BP will accept accountability for the spill — and will acknowledge the complete scientific evidence of the impact, not a few carefully selected data points.”

By Emily Atkin

Source: http://thinkprogress.org/

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News