Are Deep Oil Rigs Safer
Posted by Jeff Id on September 9, 2010
By Deborah Zabarenko, Environment CorrespondentPosted 2010/08/24 at 3:37 pm EDT
WASHINGTON, Aug. 24, 2010 (Reuters) — A Manhattan-sized plume of oil spewed deep into the Gulf of Mexico by BP’s broken Macondo well has been consumed by a newly discovered fast-eating species of microbes, scientists reported on Tuesday.
The microbes survive in cold deep water by seeking out leaking oil from natural leaks.
The micro-organisms were apparently stimulated by the massive oil spill that began in April, and they degraded the hydrocarbons so efficiently that the plume is now undetectable, said Terry Hazen of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
These so-called proteobacteria — Hazen calls them “bugs” — have adapted to the cold deep water where the big BP plume was observed and are able to biodegrade hydrocarbons much more quickly than expected, without significantly depleting oxygen as most known oil-depleting bacteria do.
Even I called this one a disaster, looks like I’m wrong again. The biggest oil spill in history, and it’s gone.
H/T Brian H