Oil Vanishes From Surface of Gulf
But worries persist about what's beneath the waves
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2010 8:09 AM CDT
A response vessel is seen along a line of emulsified oil between the Deepwater Horizon oil spill site and the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico, off the Louisiana coast, Monday, July 26, 2010.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(Newser) – Finally there’s a glimmer of good news from the Gulf: the oil on the surface is disappearing a lot faster than anyone expected, according to the New York Times. The leak has been shut for almost two weeks, and “oil has a finite lifespan on the surface,” explains the head of one environmental advocacy group, after examining some fresh satellite images. “At this point, that oil slick is really starting to dissipate pretty rapidly.”

But scientists and fishermen are still concerned about the long-term effects of the oil, and the chemical dispersants used on it. “Less oil on the surface does not mean that there isn’t oil beneath the water,” said one official. And Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen says his boats will keep skimming the water for a while. “We’ve never put this much oil into the water,” he says. “We need to take this very seriously.”