The Flow Rate Technical Group, the crew that couldn't estimate straight for two of the three month oil spew, believes only 26% of BP's spill remains. The government report was light on details, but provided percentages for remediation methods:
Evaporated or dissolved- 25% or roughly 1.25 million barrels, 52 million gallons.
Oil had to hit the surface to evaporate. The report stated: "Dissolution is different from dispersion. Dissolution is the process by which individual hydrocarbon molecules from the oil separate and dissolve into the water just as sugar can be dissolved in water."
Dispersed- 24% or roughly 1.2 million barrels, 50 million gallons.
The report stated: "Based on estimates, 16% of the oil dispersed naturally into the water column and 8% was dispersed by the application of chemical dispersants on and below the surface. Natural dispersion occurs as a result of the oil coming out of the riser pipe at high speed into the water column, which caused some of the oil to spray off in small droplets. For the purpose of this analysis, ‘dispersed oil’ is defined as droplets that are less than 100 microns — about the diameter of a human hair."
Direct recovery from the well head- 17% or 825,000 barrels, 34.6 million gallonsCombined the above methods corralled 25% of the spew. Data shows how skimming was a minor strategy from day 1. Despite calling skimming his number 1 priority, it took Thad Allen's team a long time to ramp up operations. Before the well blew out, BP reported its skimming capacity as 491,721 barrels of oil each day in the event of a major spill. That dropped to 171,000 bpd when the burning rig sank. BP didn't skim one day's worth of its promised capacity.
Burned- 5% or approximately 250,000 barrels, 10.5 million gallons
Skimming- 3% or roughly 150,000 barrels, 6.3 million gallons
Residual- 26% or 1.3 million barrels, roughly 54 million gallons.
The amount of oil remaining equals five Exxon Valdez oil spills. That didn't make the government's report.
Nevertheless, it's time to put this in our rear view mirror. Move on folks, nothing to see here.