Two million barrels of oil on sea bed from BP spill discovered

The BP spill off the US Gulf Coast in 2010 has led to about 2 million barrels of oil settling down on the ocean floor a study revealed Monday, AFP reported.

What had happened to 2 million of the nearly 5 million barrels that gushed into the open waters had not been known until now, according to the findings in the peer-reviewed Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers analysed samples collected from over 500 locations around the Macondo Well, where the leaked oil emerged, and found it had spread widely, and had settled down to the ocean floor.

The oil had spread as far as 3,200 square kilometers (1,235 square miles) from the site, and might gone even further, according to the report.

According to the researchers, their study suggested, ''the oil initially was suspended in deep waters and then settled to the underlying sea floor''.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara; the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts; and the University of California, Irvine.

Researchers arrived at the conclusion by studying seafloor sediment cores for residual hopane, a hydrocarbon that came from crude oil.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reported, The Great Invisible, Margaret Brown's quietly infuriating documentary film about the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, included depressing information that many would probably be happier not knowing.

According to the film since the disaster, that killed 11 workers and discharged of millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, BP, had cleaned up less than one-third of the spill, according to the film.

More than four years later, Congress had to yet pass any safety legislation for the petroleum industry.

The film added, of the multibillion-dollar profits made by BP over a recent three-year period, less than a tenth of 1 per cent was spent on safety.

Following a brief moratorium on offshore drilling, the ban was lifted, and the Gulf of Mexico now had more rigs than before the disaster.

The film focuses on the everyday people whose lives were disrupted. It includes interviews with several people who received minimal compensation from the $20 billion trust fund established to settle claims from the spill. The trust deficit between the tough, independent workers near the bottom of the economic ladder and those at the top informs the underlying theme of the film.