This is the title of a five part article by Alun Lewis, currently appearing in the ISCO Newsletter. The first part appeared in issue 546 (8 August 2016)

“It has been six years since the Deepwater Horizon incident and an enormous amount has been written about the various aspects of the oil release and the response. BP funded the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) with $500 million over a 10-year period and a very large number of research studies have been conducted. Since 2011, GoMRI has provided $350 million for studies and over 650 papers have been published by GoMRI-funded researchers, including over 100 papers produced in 2016. This effort has not yet answered the obvious questions about what actually happened to the oil that was released into the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), such as:
i. How much oil was released into the GoM?
ii. What happened to the released oil?
iii. How effective were the different oil spill response techniques used?
This paper has been put together to try and assess the current state of knowledge in a way that is easy to comprehend and to highlight what uncertainties remain”.

Alun Lewis has specialised in oil spill response work since 1979. His specialities are oil spill dispersants, the behaviour of spilled oil at sea and the aerial surveillance of oil at sea. During his career he worked for 25 years at the BP Research Centre, and subsequently on projects for the Warren Spring Laboratory, SINTEF in Norway, AEA Technology and the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency. He has participated in numerous research programmes, large scale sea trials and development of laboratory procedures. Since 1998 he has worked internationally as an independent consultant with many clients, commercial and governmental, He has participated in many national exercises, training courses and workshops throughout the world. A more detailed bio was published in Issue 546 of the ISCO Newsletter

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