Scientist to speak in Sarasota on oil spill and ecosystem's future, Herald Tribune, January 18, 2011:
[Oceanographer Ian] MacDonald spent much of his career studying natural oil seeps...
The difference between that much oil over the period of about three months and a natural oil seep is huge, MacDonald said. Natural seeps occur more slowly and for longer durations.
"The oil spill was millions of times more concentrated in time and space than the natural seeps are. It's that concentration that creates a potential hazard to the ecosystem," MacDonald said.
An example of the hype behind natural seepage:
Gulf oil spill was abated by bacteria that feed on hydrocarbons, report says, Washington Post, January 11, 2011:
These seeps actually prevented the BP spill from being an even worse disaster. The gulf has more natural seeps than any other body of water in or around North America. Because of this constant supply of hydrocarbons, there is always a healthy population of bacteria floating around the gulf looking for more food. When BP's well blew out, these tiny creatures went into a feeding frenzy.