Even though oil and gas have stopped flowing from the Macondo well, much of the oil and natural gas still exist in the depths of the Gulf of Mexico some 3,200 to 4,300 feet below the surface.
Due to the weak currents at the depths the oil and gas remain, the plume is expected to persist an estimated time of two years. With this plume, oxygen levels in the Gulf are expected to decrease to dead zone levels. These dead zones cause loss of animal life and prohibit any life from living in those zones.
In addition, this article from Discovery News challenges the findings that oil eating bateria are speeding up the degredation of oil in the Gulf. Scientist truly don’t know the amount of bacteria that exist in the plume and can not accurately predict an “end” date to this disaster.
Below is the link to the Discover News article that further explains the highlighted segments mentioned in the above.