Federal scientists say about one-quarter of the BP oil that spilled out of its broken well remains.

A new government report says nearly three-quarters of the oil – more than 152 million gallons – has either been collected at the well by BP’s cap, burned, skimmed, chemically dispersed, naturally deteriorated, evaporated or dissolved.

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That leaves about 53.5 million gallons in the gulf. The amount remaining – or washed up on the shore – still is more than four times the size of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.

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Federal officials say about a quarter of the oil evaporated or dissolved in the warm gulf waters, the same way sugar dissolves in water. Another one-sixth naturally dispersed, because of the way it leaked from the well. Another one-sixth was burned, skimmed or dispersed using controversial chemicals.

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