UT to research how oil spills disperse in Gulf

August 31, 2011 2:40:54 AM PDT
A group of institutions led by the University of Texas' Marine Sciences Institute has been awarded a grant to research how oil spills disperse in the Gulf of Mexico.

The University of Texas at Austin said in a news release Tuesday that the three-year, nearly $7 million grant will also help the institutions look at how oil affects the Gulf's ecology.

The grant is part of the $500 million Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative established by BP after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded last year, causing a massive oil spill.

Ed Buskey, marine science professor and lead investigator on the grant, says a goal is to figure out why the oil dispersed more quickly after that spill than it had after other comparable spills.