A University of Houston researcher has earned a $1.8 million grant from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative to determine how the use of dispersants to break up an oil spill affects the natural cleaning role played by bacteria.
Auburn University scientists documented submerged oil mats and surface residual balls (also known as tar balls) on Alabama’s sandy beach systems and analyzed the physical and chemical evolution of compounds matching the characteristics of Macondo oil.
On the surface, it appears that the dispersants used to break up the 200 million gallons of oil spilled following the Deepwater Horizon explosion of 2010 did their job.
Louisiana State University scientists assessed wetland soils for changes in oil compound levels before and after oil from the Deepwater Horizon blowout reached Louisiana marshes.
Researchers from the University of Rochester and Texas A&M University have found that, over a period of five months following the disastrous 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, naturally-occurring bacteria that exist in the Gulf of Mexico consumed and removed at least 200,000 tons of oil and natural gas that spewed into the deep Gulf from the ruptured well head.