Peer-reviewed 'oil budget' appeases scientists, Nature.com, November 24, 2010:
The most significant changes between the reports are in the oil thought to be dispersed. The estimate for natural dispersion has been reduced by 3%, and the amount of oil thought to have been broken up by chemical dispersants has been doubled to 16% of the total — changes that NOAA chief Jane Lubchenco attributes to information that has become available since the original budget was produced. ...
Jeffrey Short, a retired NOAA environmental chemist based in Juneau, Alaska, who works with the conservation-advocacy group Oceana and was a leader of the group assessing damage caused by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, also points out the paucity of solid data on which to base dispersion estimates.
From the information that is available, he feels that the report has ended up on the optimistic side. "I'm concerned that this will be used to justify unwarranted dispersant use on future spills," he says. "When you look at the underlying evidence, it simply isn't there to support the estimates presented."