BP has finished pouring cement into its blown-out oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. It ends phase two of its ‘static kill’ procedure to plug the leak for good. Monitoring is now underway.
Earlier, a federal report said only around a quarter of the oil spilled remains in the Gulf.
¨The conclusions, key conclusions of the report, is that the vast majority of the oil has either evaporated or been burned, skimmed and recovered from the wellhead or dispersed. And much of the dispersed oil is in the process of relatively rapid degradation,” Jane Lubchenco, head of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told reporters.
Yet the remaining oil is still nearly five times the size of the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska in 1989 and
its full impact remains to be seen.
“The long-term effects on aquatic life are still significantly unknown. BP has used over 1.8 million gallons of dispersant, a volume never before used in the United States,” said Dr Paul Anastas of the US Environmental Protection Agency
There are fears over the possible effects of that dispersent on sealife as well as worries over the lasting impact of the oil-slick itself on the eco-system. The battle to contain the leak may be nearly over but difficult days still lie ahead for the Gulf of Mexico.