Washington (AFP) - Around two million barrels of oil from the BP spill off the US Gulf Coast in 2010 are believed to have settled on the ocean floor, according to a study Monday.
The fate of two million of the nearly five million barrels that gushed into the open waters has remained a mystery until now, said the findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed US journal.
Researchers analyzed samples collected at more than 500 locations around the Macondo Well, where the leaked oil emerged, and found it had spread widely, settling down like dirt in a bathtub.
The oil was found to have spread as far as 3,200 square kilometers (1,235 square miles) from the site, and may have gone even further, the report said.
"Our analysis suggests the oil initially was suspended in deep waters and then settled to the underlying sea floor," said the study by the University of California, Santa Barbara; the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts; and the University of California, Irvine.
Researchers came to this conclusion by studying seafloor sediment cores for residual hopane, a hydrocarbon that comes from crude oil.
That which wasn't cleaned up, evaporated or dispersed is now a tarry goo under the sediment of the sea bed.
I thought the Mexican drug cartels took it. They are always ripping off oil from Pemex.