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BP Spill: Disaster Nearing An End

August 4, 2010

One of the worst environmental disaster in US history is nearing it’s end, after more than 100 days when Transocean Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20th killing 11 people and spewing out more than 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. BP today reported that it has been successful in it’s “Static Kill” operation where they pumped drilling mud into the well through the temporary cap. The pressure from the mud is balancing the pressure from the oil and preventing it from coming out. Now engineers are deliberating whether to pour down cement and kill the well completely or wait for relief wells to be completed and then kill the well completely in the process named by BP as “bottom kill” (too many fancy names, remember top hat, top kill, junk shot etc..). But the good news is that the end is near, but it’s also the beginning of cleaning and rehabilitation process of the ecosystem as well as the people who lost their jobs and earnings. Reports suggest that almost 75% of oil has disappeared from the ocean which has been attributed to skimming and burning of oil, microbial activities and evaporation. Skeptics believe that most of the oil has been broken down by dispersant and is still present deep beneath the ocean or present in marshlands or under the sand in some form or the other. Up to 50 percent of the spilled oil could still be in the water in some form, and while it’s gradually being eaten by microbes, nobody can tell how fast that’s happening, Richard Harris from NPR said.

Picture: Two brown pelicans and a flock of seagulls rest on the shore of Ship Island as a boom line floats just offshore in Gulfport, Miss. Picture taken on April 29 by William Colgin/AP Photo/The Sun Herald/Boston.com/Bigpicture

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