Scientists continue to search for BP oil in Gulf, delayed by lack of funds

It should be a considerable concern in Washington that funds for research have been delayed so long. Collecting data now is important for the long term research into this environmental disaster. Then again, maybe too many in Washington would prefer inaction due to the potential implications related to Big Oil.

We’ve heard a lot of stories so far about how the oil has magically disappeared, perhaps thanks to oil eating bacteria but until there is much more serious and coordinated research, it’s all a guess. We really need to get the funding problem sorted now.

On his return voyage he is encountering a void. “If that oil and gas had been consumed by bacteria you would expect to see more oxygen depletion than what we have seen,” he said.

“Was it just a fluke that we found it, or is there an oil carpet on the ground?”

So where is the oil? It’s been two months since any new crude from BP’s well entered the Gulf. Independent estimates suggest 4.4m barrels of oil spewed out into the Gulf of Mexico, but there is no scientific agreement on its fate. “You could say it’s a mystery,” said Amon.

Did the oil sink to the bottom? A University of Georgia research expedition earlier this month discovered a thick coating of oil on the sea floor, 16 nautical miles from the BP well-head.

Is it floating in the depths? One team of researchers reported finding a deep sea plume of oil and natural gas the size of Manhattan, that was slow to degrade. A second study of the plume found the oil and gas were quickly being gobbled up by microbes.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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