What are we doing to get rid of the oil at the bottom of the gulf?



  1. 0 Votes

    I haven’t heard of any oil that stays on the bottom of the ocean. All of the oil stays at the top. To get rid of the oil on top, dispersants, fire, and other things are used to either break up, burn, or capture the oil. A likely reason that the spill happened in the first place was the build up of methane hydrate, a solid composed of methane and water (this is a problem that would need to be taken care of at the bottom of the ocean). It clogged the first containment system. To prevent this from happening in the future, oil companies will use heat and antifreeze.

  2. 0 Votes

    Unfortunately, not a whole lot. It is so very hard to actually clean up that oil, and most efforts are going to keeping oil away from the shore to reduce the human costs of the spill. The oil can get very deep at parts (like the discovered oil plumes: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/us/16oil.html), and the oil that is currently being pumped out of the deep-ocean leak is what’s really disconcerting.

    Dispersants have been applied right near the actual leak, but the things about dispersants is that when they are used at that depth of ocean they actually don’t help us get rid of the oil. The oil seems gone, but it is really just “swept under the rug”, harder to see. Not to mention the fact that dispersants are usually highly toxic.

    However, there are some good things happening. Namely, BP has started vacuuming some oil out of where it is dangerous and into a tanker. Of course, this is based on their dislike of lost profit, but it’s something!

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