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The official BP estimate of the leak rate at the bottom of the gulf is as follows:

John Curry, a spokesman for BP working from their Gulf coast central command operations, said the 5,000 barrel a day was a “guestimate.” “There’s a range of uncertainty, and it’s very difficult to accurately gauge how much there is,” he said.

Their original "guestimate" was 1,000 barrels of oil a day, but they have wells that are currently producing over 30,000 barrels of oil a day under controlled conditions.  They changed their estimates because of SkyTruth's evaluations of satellite images.  SkyTruth says the leak rate is 26,000 barrels per day "at the minimum".

Now Janet Napolitano says it may actually be "tens of thousands of barrels per day".

see below:

26,000 barrels per day


1.196 million gallons of oil per day


one Exxon Valdez spill every 9.11 days.


SkyTruth.Org is the organization that, based on their original evaluation of the satellite images, caused the u.s. government and BP to up their estimate to 5,000 barrels per day leakage.

This is their estimation:

May 01, 2010|By Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times
Tiny group has big impact on spill estimates

SkyTruth first analyzed satellite and radar data on the spill shortly after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig sank after a fire April 22. It challenged initial estimates that 1,000 barrels of oil were gushing daily from the wellhead nearly a mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, about 130 miles southeast of New Orleans. Federal officials and BP quickly revised the estimated daily rate to 5,000 barrels.

John Amos, the group's president, also revised the estimate of the rate of oil leaking to 25,000 barrels a day, saying it was a "rock bottom" figure. There are 42 gallons in a barrel of oil.


So, if it was an Exxon Valdez spill every 9.11 days do you think that BP and the NOAA would tell us?  Maybe. . . but Homeland Security under Janet Napolitano sure would.


from 3 hours ago:

"The worst-case scenario is we could have 100,000 barrels or more of oil flowing out," Salazar said on CNN's "State of the Union."

BP and the U.S. government have over the past week stuck to their raised estimate of 5,000 barrels a day spilling out of the deepwater well.

But Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano said on ABC News that the current spill rate could currently be much higher.

"Right now that could be in the tens of thousands gallons per day, of barrels per day," she said.

This is what she is saying:

from the same article:

Friday, industry experts said based on satellite images and standard measuring indexes, they estimate the spill rate at 20,000 barrels a day to 25,000 barrels a day. If those rates are accurate, the spill could already rival the 11-million gallon Valdez slick that economically and environmentally devastated part of Alaska.

Allen said three leaks have now been found at the well.

Asked if the 25,000 barrel a day figures were accurate, head of BP America, Lamar McKay, said on ABC that their own estimates were "very, very uncertain."

Salazar said that he believed BP could stop the leak, but he fears that it may take 90 days to do that. BP is placing a new rig over the leak and will soon attempt to use drilling tools to close the leak.

If the 25,000 barrel-a-day estimate is accurate and the leak lasts for 90 days, that's 2.25 million barrels, or 94.5 million gallons.

94.5 million gallons is over 9 times the size of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.


The shaded area from the Valdez spill would fit across the entire gulf of mexico with some room to spare.  This is what has already been poured into the Gulf of Mexico.


If 9 times the Valdez spill amount is placed into the gulf, then we will see an outflow of oil on an unprecedented scale moving up the coast of the Atlantic Seaboard.

gulf stream oil spill

This image shows warm water as it actually flows from the gulf of mexico up the atlantic seaboard.

If this "Current Worst Case Scenario" is correct, we will see coastline contamination up the entire Atlantic Seaboard up to Virginia Beach.

But this isn't the "Potential Worst Case Scenario".  The actual worst case scenario is this:

"Two additional release points were found today. If the riser pipe deteriorates further, the flow could become unchecked resulting in a release volume an order of magnitude higher than previously thought."

In scientific circles, an order of magnitude means something is 10 times larger. In this case, an order of magnitude higher would mean the volume of oil coming from the well could be 10 times higher than the 5,000 barrels a day coming out now. That would mean 50,000 barrels a day, or 2.3 million gallons a day.

But now we know that it is probably 26,000 barrels of oil per day.  Typical oil well gushers are from 40,000 to 60,000 barrels per day.    This well has a potential leak capacity of greater than 100,000 barrels per day.

or 4.6 million gallons of oil per day.

or an exxon valdez spill every 2.75 days.

If it takes 90 days to stop the spill we are looking at a potential spill size greater than the worst oil spill in world history, when Saddam Hussein destroyed the loading facilities in Kuwait during Gulf War I.

apologies for Faux news, but this clip is currently the best report to date on the subject, though they are still quoting the 5,000 barrels per day mis-estimation.

first time on the rec list - Correction:  This is not the deepest oil well ever drilled, that well is the tiber well, operated by the same Deepwater Horizon company.  This well was started at over 5,000 foot sea depth and was to be drilled to a depth of 18,000 feet.

The well was planned to be drilled to 18,000ft, and was to be plugged and abandoned for later completion as a subsea producer. for a total well depth of 23,000 feet.

This well is located at Mississippi Canyon block 252, offshore

comment:  If you want blame, blame the bush administration. Those oil-men allowed BP to self-regulate while performing an experimental drilling operation that had the potential to produce a catastrophic failure and environmental disaster that could only be compared with a nuclear power plant disaster.

This is a function of the fraud imposed by deregulation of industries in America.  in Brazil or Norway, adequate and necessary safety devices would be in place to have prevented this . . .abomination.

Originally posted to innereye on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:58 AM PDT.

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