Many experts say the region was lucky to escape what could have been a much worse catastrophe. But others warn the effects of the leak are likely to linger for decades.
Jackie Savitz, an Oceana senior scientist, said: “Whether it’s exactly 26 percent that’s left, I don’t know. But even 26 percent of the oil that was released would be the equivalent of about four Exxon Valdises. So, there’s still a lot of oil in the Gulf. Marine life in the Gulf certainly are not quite ready to breathe a sigh of relief.”
Dr Paul Anastas at the US Environmental Protection Agency said: “The long term effects on aquatic life are still significantly unknown. And BP has used over 1.8 million gallons of dispersant, a volume never before used in the US.”
Some politicians called the use of dispersants a “grand experiment” and said scientists are yet to explain the likely effects on the environment.