Scientists Confirm Subsea Oil Plumes Are Definitively BP’s Oil
Last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed that the oil plumes were from BP’s well. At the time, that conclusion was based on what the agency called a “preponderance of evidence,” but no chemical fingerprinting of samples had yet conclusively determined origin.
A team of Florida scientists was trying to perform the chemical fingerprinting, but as we noted, BP had initially refused to provide it with samples of oil from its well. After several Florida lawmakers intervened, BP representatives said the scientists would receive their samples, and three weeks later, the company handed them over.
NOAA also released a new analysis of the subsea oil. That analysis confirmed that the “subsurface oil concentrations are highest near the wellhead and become more diffuse farther away from the source,” and that areas of lower oxygen readings are also where concentrations of oil are elevated.
According to NOAA, this could be due to oil- and methane-eating microbes that deplete oxygen in the water—potentially exacerbating the Gulf’s “dead zones.”
One marine sciences professor told McClatchy Newspapers last week that these microbes have grown “surprisingly fast” within oil plumes.
The BP oil disaster in the Gulf has had untold health, economic and environmental effects.
Latest Posts on this Topic
Our Hottest Stories
- Meet the Online Tracking Device That is Virtually Impossible to Block
- California Halts Injection of Fracking Waste, Warning it May Be Contaminating Aquifers
- Campus Sexual Assault: What Are Colleges Doing Wrong?
- What We Learned Investigating Unpaid Internships
- Who Advised Cuomo on Mortgage Industry Investigation? A Mortgage Lobbyist
- Are Patient Privacy Laws Being Misused to Protect Medical Centers?
- Thank You for Your Service: How One Company Sues Soldiers Worldwide
- New York State of Fracking: A ProPublica Explainer
- Error: You Have No Payments from Pharma
- Even After Open Enrollment, Activity Remains Unexpectedly High on Federal Health Insurance Exchange