Search Crews are Having a Hard Time Finding Oil

By: Denise Bradberry Email
By: Denise Bradberry Email

BP's incoming CEO says it's time to scale back the clean-up, but not his commitment to the gulf coast.

As Kendis Gibson shows us, right now there isn't much oil to clean up.

If anyone can spot the oil, it’s Lieutenant Colonel Al Van Lenge.

He's flown more than a dozen flights above the Gulf of Mexico since, the oil started gushing.

But in the weeks since BP capped the well members of the civil air patrol are seeing far less oil on the surface.

Skimming boats, chemical dispersants and recent storms have also helped remove or break up the oil.

“A couple days ago we saw maybe just a little spare patches of oil, we had to get down really low just to identify it as oil,” says Lenge.

Since May these pilots have flown more than 1200 hours above the Gulf of Mexico, looking for oil and tracking the booms that line the coast.

On our flight we saw cleanup crews on distant barrier islands, and dozens of BP vessels but no oil.

“This is possibly the largest disaster response that we've been involved in, since the coastal patrols of world war two,” says Colonel James Rushing.

Their mission may soon come to an end.

Even BP’s new boss says the cleanup effort will be scaled back.

The operation to permanently seal the leak hit another delay.

Crews discovered debris in the relief well and need to clean it out, before pumping in mud and cement.

While BP closes in on the final fix below, for now there's little sign of oil at least on the surface.

Crews had hoped to start the static kill Sunday but removing the debris will probably take 24 to 36 hours pushing the kill back to Tuesday.

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