Static kill procedure appears to be working; focus shifts to clean up and recovery...
Gulf Coast -- For the first time in 107 days scientists and engineers say the oil is gone, pushed back into its natural reservoir beneath the floor of the gulf by thick drilling mud used in the static kill.
Federal officials also said for the first time Wednesday that most of the oil that poured into the water, almost 5-million barrels, is no longer there.
"The vast majority of the oil has either evaporated or been burned, skimmed and recovered from the well head, or dispersed," said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Dr. Jane Lubchenco.
The chemicals used to disperse the oil are still a major concern.
They were the focus of a hearing on Capitol Hill.
According to federal officials there has been little or no negative effect from the chemicals.
"Mixtures of oil and dispersants were no more toxic than oil alone," EPA assistant administrator Paul Anastas testified.
Those who make their living on the water aren't so sure.
"Who can we can count on to tell us the honest truth?" asked fisherman David Arnesen.
While the flow of oil is stopped and the surface seems clean,
things are still far from normal.
"The best way for me to tell me it's okay is when my trip tickets are back to normal, how long that will take I don't know," Arnesen said.
Most along the gulf coast agree it's a recovery that will continue for years.
A major part of that recovery is the ultimate kill on the rig.
Admiral Thad Allen said Wednesday the relief well should be ready to carry that out in the next couple of weeks.