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Kraigmo's avatar

Why is BP dispersing some of the oil?

Asked by Kraigmo (7802points) May 25th, 2010

Why is BP using dispersants to break up the oil?

Why cannot they just vacuum up the oil? Where do they expect the dispersed oil to go?

http://tinyurl.com/PressHereForCousteausAnalysis (video)

http://tinyurl.com/PressHereForGoogleNewsStory-1 (article)

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5 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

By breaking up the oil, they are making it easier for the oil to then be taken care of naturally by the ocean. They can only “vacuum” up so much at a time. By dispersing some of it, they are giving a chance for the ocean to take care of it naturally while it waits to be vacuumed up.

According to this article, once the oil is dispersed, it will either be “eaten by naturally occurring microbes, evaporate, be picked up, or dissolve.”

Kraigmo's avatar

@Seaofclouds , I think the “be picked up” part their quote was the key part. But I’m not knowledgeable in this kind of thing, so maybe the dispersants are wonderful, as implied.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Kraigmo I don’t think they are wonderful. I just think that BP is trying to get things taken care of. With the amount of oil still coming out of the well, they have a lot to take care of. With the current vacuums not being able to get everything as it comes out of the well, they have to do something to help with that as well.

Kraigmo's avatar

@Seaofclouds , Your answer is a good answer. I didn’t mean to imply that you thought everything was fine with the chemicals, but that BP meant to imply it themselves with that optimistic quote. This is the same company that partnered with the CIA in the 1950s to overthrow President Mossadeq of Iran, resulting in the Shah, resulting in the Ayatollah.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Kraigmo Gotcha. I just read this story today about something else they are going to try. I hope they find a solution soon.

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