Gulf Disaster

Oil Cleanup to Take Years

You may want to ready yourself for plenty more pictures of oil-soaked birds: The unexpected breaking up of the oil spill into hundreds of thousands of patches means that the effort to clean up the Gulf of Mexico and its coastline will take years. On Monday, Admiral Thad Allen said, “The breadth and complexity of the disaggregation of the oil” is now the greatest clean-up challenge; “This is a long campaign, and we’re going to be dealing with this for the foreseeable future.” The breakup of the oil means additional boats and booms are required. BP, meanwhile, is set to start making money off the disaster: It is setting up a rig so it can process oil recovered from the well.