Researchers from the University of Rochester and Texas A&M University have determined that naturally-occuring bacteria in the Gulf of Mexico consumed and removed at least 200,000 tons of oil and natural gas from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
“A significant amount of the oil and gas that was released was retained within the ocean water more than one-half mile below the sea surface. It appears that the hydrocarbon-eating bacteria did a good job of removing the majority of the material that was retained in these layers,” explained co-author John Kessler from the University of Rochester.
Their results included information on how the rate at which bacteria consumed oil and gas changed over time. This could be extremely helpful in predicting the results of future spills.
For more information, you can read the full press release here:
You can read the results of the study published this week in Environmental Science and Technology here:
- Assessment of the Spatial and Temporal Variability of Bulk Hydrocarbon Respiration Following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
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