April 29, 2010

Oil leak 5 times larger than initial estimate

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 4:17 am

With 4 robotic submersibles on the scene, BP had to know this leak was worse than initially revealed. Makes me wonder what else they haven’t revealed…


In a press conference late Wednesday, government officials revealed that oil is leaking into the Gulf of Mexico at a rate five times higher than initially estimated.

According to the New York Times, Rear Adm. Mary E. Landry of the Coast Guard said a scientist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had concluded that oil is leaking at the rate of 5,000 barrels a day, not 1,000 as had been estimated.

At midday Wednesday, the edge of the approximately 600-mile in diameter spill was 23 miles off the Louisiana coast near fragile estuaries and swamps teeming with shrimp, oysters, birds and other wildlife. According to Reuters, the Coast Guard said that the oil sheen and emulsified crude slick is slightly larger than the state of West Virginia. It is currently about 60 miles from the nearest Florida beaches in Pensacola.

Americans, who consume approximately 21 million barrels of oil per day, have been sold the idea that off shore drilling will drive prices down by generously increasing supply. That has never been and never will be the case. Assuming that every offshore area is made available for drilling, the added production would have little or no effect on the market. An Energy Information Administration study conducted during the Bush administration pointed out that opening up every offshore area not already available for drilling at the time would add a total of 18.17 billion barrels of oil to the market by 2020. That may sound like a lot, but at the current rate of consumption that amounts to a little under an 87-day supply for the U.S.

More Americans on the Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana coasts may soon begin questioning the benefits of offshore drilling when oil washes up on their beaches destroying wildlife, commercial fishing, shrimping and their quality of life. Unless technology is perfectly foolproof – and it never is – oil spills are not a matter of if, but when…and how bad.

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