But now, 16 days after the leak was finally stopped, scientists are coming forward to suggest that perhaps BP boss Tony Hayward may have been right after all.
Oil from the well is clearing from the sea surface much faster than scientists expected.
Indeed, some are asking whether the original threat was actually exaggerated.
And just over 100 days after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers, the water around the Gulf is almost entirely clear.
The backtracking by the US media in particular stands in stark contrast to the way in which they pursued Mr Hayward in the wake of the spill.