26 2 mins 12 yrs

As has been remarked by others on ATW, we should never misunderestimate (!) the power of nature!

He sparked outrage in the US when he suggested that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill was nothing but a drop in the ocean. And he was hounded out of his job for overseeing one of the world’s worst oil disasters as pictures of dying seabirds floundering in oil dominated the front pages of the US press for weeks on end.

But now, 16 days after the leak was finally stopped, scientists are coming forward to suggest that perhaps BP boss Tony Hayward may have been right after all. Oil from the well is clearing from the sea surface much faster than scientists expected. Indeed, some are asking whether the original threat was actually exaggerated. 

And just over 100 days after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers, the water around the Gulf is almost entirely clear.

Obama compared the scale of the BP spill to 9/11, how wrong could he be?

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26 thoughts on “WHERE HAS THE OIL GONE?

  1. ‘clearing from the sea surface’ That is the key phrase!

    From the surface – maybe! – from people ‘on-the-spot’, I have it on reasonably good authourity, that below the surface – at around the thirty foot plus mark, the really nasty stuff is still quite prevalent. One consolation is that if it sinks to the bottom and absorbed there, it is less likely to spread southeasterly towards the Keys, and the large coral reef offshore there on the Atlantic side.

    The reef, as with so many popular diving spots, has been under stress for far too long. The last thing it needs is great gobs of oil covering the fragile reef.

    As to Hayward maybe being correct, the official amounts spilled are the worst ever, being some large multiple bigger than the Valdez spill, – and oil is still coming ashore there after twenty years! Maybe someone ‘up there’ is really looking after this most wonderful area. As they say;- ‘To know it is to love it!’

  2. Well said Ernest.

    The damage – in terms of dead seabirds, dead sea mammals, dead fish, polluted sea-shore and of course lost livelehoods from fishing and tourism – will be evident for many years.

  3. Extremely somber reading for anyone who cares about the Gulf.

    The recent spill is indeed only one of a long series of environmental insults that have gone on for many decades. Much or most of the pollution has been intentional.

    At least half a million barrels of oil and drilling fluids had been spilled offshore before the gusher that began after the April 20 explosion, according to government records.

    Much more than that has been spilled from pipelines, vessel traffic and wells in state waters — including hundreds of spills in Louisiana alone — records show, some of it since April 20.

    Runoff and waste from cornfields, sewage plants, golf courses and oil-stained parking lots drain into the Mississippi River from vast swaths of the United States, and then flow down to the gulf, creating a zone of lifeless water the size of Lake Ontario just off the coast of Louisiana.

    The gulf’s floor is littered with bombs, chemical weapons and other ordnance dumped in the middle of last century, even in areas busy with drilling, and miles outside of designated dumping zones, according to experts who work on deepwater hazard surveys.

  4. Rush Limbaugh said from the very beginning that the importance of the spill was greatly exaggerated and that nature would take care of it.

    Our own Pete Moore said the same.

    Fool that I was, I did not believe either of them. Now I know – never question Rush…or Pete Moore.

    Because they were right! Wonderfully so! It’s great news that the spill is not nearly as bad as expected.

  5. There is no reason on earth to believe that is so.

    From Nola.com ( New Orleans newspaper site:

    Charter captain Mike Frenette has been wondering whether the news media are living in a parallel universe. The Internet and mainstream media this week are filled with reports that the BP oil disaster is over, that the Gulf is now devoid of the slicks and sheen, and the marshes are no longer being bathed in crude.
    gulf_oil_skimmer_timbalier_bay.JPGView full sizeGerald Herbert, The Associated PressThis skimming boat was photographed Wednesday in a large stretch of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico near Timbalier Bay.

    That’s not what he and his crew saw at the mouth of the Mississippi River and along the river’s delta this week.

    Don’t proclaim " mission accomplished " just quite yet.

  6. I think Patty’s right.

    Phantom –

    The gulf’s floor is littered with bombs, chemical weapons and other ordnance dumped in the middle of last century

    Who did that then?

  7. Well whatever Rush says is obviously true. On any topic whatsoever. What a relief that we can all stop worrying and get back to drilling.

    Maybe we should be trying those pills that Rush loves.

  8. Pete

    Your argument is very weak, tired. The government did it – in the forties and fifties.

    I don’t hold today’s government responsible for that yesterday’s government did, any more than I hold a corporation today responsible for what another private concern did 60 years ago.

    The Clean Water Act is what dragged both private and governmental entities into compliance with acceptable environmental standards in the past decades. Such polluting actions would not happen today, as they would be completely illegal.

    The world has evolved a lot since the 1950s. Thank God for that.

  9. The Clean Water Act is what dragged both private and governmental entities into compliance ..


    The Clean Water act has cost the economy countless billions like all these utopian statements. Because of the Clean Water Act Jefferson County in Alabama incurred the largest debt in American municipal history. It costs more than a thousand people their jobs, taxpayers a fortune and the county is desperately trying to stave off bankruptcy.

    What an outcome.

    Lift the curtain occasionally, look behind the scenes at costs as well as benefits.

  10. Yeah – lol indeed.

    i wouldn’t recommend you try that line where Gulf fishermen hang out

    – – –

    Yes, repeal all environmental laws. Because business knows best all the time

  11. Pete Moore,

    ‘The gulf’s floor is littered with bombs, chemical weapons and other ordnance dumped in the middle of last century’

    So is the Thames Estuary, – Falmouth Bay, and Scapa Flow, and many other places around the British coastline.

    The pile of explosive in the Thames Estuary, if it exploded would devastate the nearby coast, not that it is likely now, but there is still a slim chance. It was once so dangerous that it couldn’t be moved or made safe for fear that if it did blow it would take half of Essex with it, – wait a minute! – isn’t that where you live!…

    Divers in Falmouth harbour were quite familiar with the pile of shells or whatever, a mile or so offshore. Last time I saw it they had signs with those old W D signs with an arrow between the W and the D, placed a intervals around the heap.

    As for ships and other ironmongery, much is sunk deliberately, eventually to be covered with coral, to provide artificial reefs, why they even have concrete capsules for the ashes of the dear departed who wish to do their ‘bit for the environment’, by becoming part of a new reef.

    Now all that stuff is junk which will eventually rot away, but oil is something very different – it kills anything it touches.

    Meanwhile Troll, you have finally convinced me that you really are deranged, and I say that more in sympathy than anger…

  12. you mean the gulf fisherman that are going to be reimbursed at twice their actual profits for the next 2 years, sorry I think not.

    My ass bleeds for the 50-60,000 people who are immediately being hurt by this drilling moratorium, and the 300million that are already starting to suffer again at the pump for an artificial reason

  13. Ernest pray tell, elaborate on my derangement. I’d love to hear your evaluation of my sense of reality.

  14. Ernest Young –

    Yes, those places are littered with ordnance and Essex would go into orbit if that wreck went lively. However it’s not me lauding the entity which put them there.

    Also Salisbury Plain and the Warcop Training Area and Shoeburyness and Cape Wrath are littered with ordnance since the government has spent decades bombing the crap out of them, the same government which apparently knows best how to protect the environment.

  15. Pete,

    I can say for sure Warcop is only dangerous because of the sheep!

  16. Troll,

    ‘were gonna kill the planet,,,,,lol’

    That you even think that is funny, – is a sure sign of derangement.

    As I said, I said that more in sympathy than in anger, as I get no pleasure in mocking the afflicted, even in jest!

    What’s with the ‘pray tell’ bit – have you gone all Pansy as well. I think maybe you are more of a Muppet than a Troll.

  17. no Ernest only goofs think that man can truely effect the planet, it will shrug us off like a bad case of fleas when it’s ready

    You see that’s your problem you grew up watching goody goody pc shows like sesame street, You probably were even a fan of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood weren’t you…..LOL

    I grew up on real kids shows bugs bunny, the road runner, and the 3 stooges and god forbid even speedy gonzalas…..lol

    and pray tell I’m playing nice NOT to offend the intelligentsia

  18. Ernest,

    Your posts on the Gulf Oil spill have been really good. I have enjoyed them -very informative. Thanks.

    " I think maybe you are more of a Muppet than a Troll."

    Apart from being funny, How does this comment measure on the civility scale? 🙂

  19. Troll: "and the 300million that are already starting to suffer again at the pump for an artificial reason’

    Petrol is very cheap in the US this summer and last summer compared to summer’s past. What on earth are you raving about Troll?

  20. Pinky, – as before, – uttered under extreme provocation!, and while not proud of sinking to such depths, feel uttely justified in writing it.

    I realise the comment I objected to was done purely to annoy, and I fell for it! However, while I find his brand of caveman machismo – shall I say – quaint, – I found his comment offensive. It was the straw that broke the ‘camel’s back’ of my tolerance for his adolescent rantings, – for that is all the are!

    Time he realised that the readership of this blog is wide ranging, not just in intellect, but in age also. If he wishes to be so gratuitous with inane and offensive remarks, he must expect a complaint or three about it.

    That we really are ‘killing the planet’ is bad enough, without the foolish laughter or adolescent comment to ‘rub it in’! – and no! – I not an eco-whacko, but perhaps my definition of realism is different from his!

  21. Troll,

    You patronising fool! – I have underwear older than you! I grew up when boys were boys, and had no need for pansy tv shows, – ‘care of Disney’, real life was our entertainment and our education, and gave us a respect for the things around us. That you watched so many cartoons may give us all a clue as to your rather juvenile mentality and approach to life.

    During my military service in Korea, I had enough experience of gung ho, careless Americans, with their casual respect for life in general, and saw enough of the damage they do – and that’s to their allies! – to me last a lifetime. Small wonder that such nonsensical remarks as yours revive unpleasant memories and cause annoyance. – you muppet!

  22. "and the 300million that are already starting to suffer again at the pump for an artificial reason’


    The market oil is truly a world market

    The incremental production temporarily off line due to the moratorium will have minimal impact on price. It may be bad policy, it certainly will not help Gulf region employment, but the point is without merit.


    I was unaware of your service in Korea. I’d be interested in more detail, and I bet that others would too,

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