A group of scientists says as much as 79 percent of BP Plc’s leaked oil remains in the Gulf of Mexico, challenging an Obama administration assessment that the crude is largely gone or rapidly disappearing.
Most of the oil that leaked from BP’s Macondo well from April 20 to July 15 is still beneath the water’s surface, five scientists including Samantha Joye, a professor of marine sciences at the University of Georgia in Athens, concluded in a memo made public yesterday. The researchers say they drew upon the U.S. government’s study while reaching different conclusions.
“One major misconception is that oil that has dissolved into water is gone and, therefore, harmless,” he said in a statement released yesterday. “The oil is still out there, and it will likely take years to completely degrade. We are still far from a complete understanding of what its impacts are.”