Coast Guard: Only Traces of Oil on Gulf Seabed

In this Sept. 16, 2010 photo, a worker walks past marsh grass that was impacted by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Bay Jimmy on the Louisiana coast. Five months after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, crews are close to permanently sealing BP PLC's blown-out well with a concrete plug, but some oil continues to wash ashore and work is still underway to remove it. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
The Coast Guard admiral overseeing cleanup of the BP oil spill says extensive sampling of the Gulf of Mexico seafloor has found oil in quantities too small to merit collection.

The Coast Guard's findings - to be released in a report Friday - are in contrast to reports from independent scientists who say oil has extensively damaged the seafloor.

"We are not finding any recoverable amounts of oil," Rear Adm. Paul Zukunft told The Associated Press. "We are finding traces of oil."

Special Section: Disaster in the Gulf

He says the concentrations fall far short of harmful levels under federal pollution laws.

One site about a mile from the capped BP PLC well a mile under the Gulf has a higher concentration.

Zukunft says no technology exists to collect it at that depth though it will be monitored.