Monday, May 17, 2010

Natural seepage of crude oil into the marine environment

Natural oil seepage into the ocean's has been happening for millions of years and scientists have known for years about it.  Granted, the spill in the Gulf of Mexico is awful to the marine life, it is not something new to the earth or to the oceans. 

Excerpt from FoxNews article on May 21, 2009:
"Microbes consume most, but not all, of the compounds in the oil. The next step of the research is to figure out just why that is."

"Nature does an amazing job acting on this oil but somehow the microbes stopped eating, leaving a small fraction of the compounds in the sediments," said study co-author Chris Reddy, a marine chemist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Falmouth, Mass. "Why this happens is still a mystery, but we are getting closer."  Read full article here
The USGS has known about oil seeps in the ocean and you can read the report here.