NOAA Bill Lehr On Dispersant Effectiveness
Dispersants at Gulf Spill Did Better Than Thought
WASHINGTON—The federal government now figures that oil dispersants did a better job of breaking up the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico than it first calculated.
A new analysis released Tuesday says the controversial chemicals helped break up about 32 million gallons of oil— about 16 percent of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. That’s about twice as much as a federal team figured in August.
Scientists attribute the level of success mostly due to the unusual method of injecting the chemicals so deep, about a mile down near the busted well.
Study author Bill Lehr of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says injecting the chemicals a mile deep proved to be roughly four times more effective per gallon of oil as spraying the chemical on the ocean’s surface.