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Date of Issue: August 11, 2010

NOAA: Majority of oil gone

The federal government estimates that the “vast majority” of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill has either evaporated or been removed from the Gulf of Mexico.

The estimate came from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which reported that a third of oil released from the now-capped deepwater well off the Louisiana coast was either burned, skimmed or broken up using chemical dispersants.

An additional 25 percent of the oil evaporated or dissolved, according to NOAA, and 16 percent was dispersed naturally into microscopic droplets.

“Early indications are that the oil is degrading quickly,” NOAA stated in the Aug. 4 report, which estimated the total oil released from the well since late April at about 4.9 million barrels.

NOAA’s calculation was that about 26 percent of the oil remains either on or just below the Gulf surface or has washed ashore.

Oil began leaking from the BP/Transocean Deepwater Horizon Well April 22 and reached shorelines in the northern Gulf in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida. Oil has remained hundreds of miles from the Tampa Bay area and no projections show oil reaching local waters.

NOAA stated that the optimistic report does not address the “long-term impacts of oil on the Gulf. Fully understanding the damages and impacts of the spill on the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem is something that will take time and continued monitoring and research.”

Also, the remaining oil, according to independent scientists, remains thick along the Louisiana shoreline and continues to have a noticeable impact on wildlife. Independent scientists also cautioned that because oil appears to be gone doesn’t mean it is not present in some form, under the Gulf surface.