Scientists Microbes Have Consumed Giant Oil Plume In Gulf

08.25.10 | FL News Team

(Washington, DC)  --  A team of scientists is reporting a giant oil plume deep in the Gulf of Mexico from BP's leaking well appears to be gone.  Oceanographers had detected the plume in late June before the damaged well was capped in mid-July.  Scientist Terry Hazen credits fast-eating microbes for gobbling up the hydrocarbons that made up the oil plume much more quickly than expected.

He also said these particular microbes did their job without depleting oxygen in the Gulf waters, which is critical to the survival of fish and shellfish.  Hazen says the oil spill may actually have stimulated the microbes' ability to break down tiny droplets of oil within the plume.  Federal officials recently estimated 50 percent of the oil from the massive BP spill is gone from the Gulf and say the rest is quickly degrading.