Captured:The Gulf Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon rig burns as oil leaks into the Gulf of Mexico, more than 50 miles southeast of Venice on Louisiana’s tip on April 21, 2010. The day before, contractors from Halliburton Energy Services Inc. had finished cementing the well’s pipes nearly 5,000 feet below the water’s surface. Workers were busy setting a second seal at the well head, one of the last steps before the rig could move off, and the exploration well _ in an area of the Gulf known as Mississippi Canyon Block 252 _ could make the transition to a production well. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Oil and oil sheen are seen off an island, top, in the waters of Chandeleur Sound, La., Wednesday, May 5, 2010.

Shrimp boats are used to collect oil with booms in the waters of Chandeleur Sound, La., Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mississippi River water (L) meets sea water and an oil slick that has passed inside the protective barrier formed by the Chandeleur Islands, as cleanup operations continue for the BP Deepwater Horizon platform disaster off Louisiana, on May 7, 2010. The Gulf of Mexico oil slick threatens the fragile US coast, causing clean-up efforts to focus on the best of a bad set of options: fight it there before it arrives here. An army of workers hired by British Petroleum, along with the US Coast Guard and local officials in Louisiana, have rushed to set out protective booms, spread dispersants and burn the oil when they can as it moves toward the shore. The strategy is to deal with the growing slick as much as possible before it laps into wetlands on Louisiana’s coast, where its effects could be catastrophic and cleaning it is infinitely more difficult if not impossible.

Oil spewing from a blown-out well into the Gulf of Mexico during a fly over with Tony Hayward, chief executive of BP, May, 6, 2010. Crews prepared to lower a 100-ton box they hoped would cut off most of the crude, the urgency of their task underscored by oil that started washing up on delicate barrier islands.


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One Response to Captured:The Gulf Oil Spill

  1. The Destructionist says:

    While watching the latest news about the BP Oil spill, a frightening thought came to mind: what if we can’t stop the oil? I mean, what happens if after all the measures to cap the pipe fail, (i.e., “Top Hat”, “Small Hat” and “Top Kill”). What then? An accident this problematic is new territory for BP. The oil pipeline is nearly a mile down on the ocean floor, accessible only by robots. Add on top of that the extreme pressure at which the oil is flowing out of the pipeline and there you have it: the perfect storm.

    Moreover, scientists also claim that they’ve found an enormous plume of oil floating just under the surface of the ocean measuring approximately 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick. (I’m no math genius, but I bet one of you reading this could figure out just how many barrels of oil that is…)

    There are new estimates that the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico is anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil a day: that’s a far cry from BP’s estimated 5,000 barrels a day. If BP’s estimates are correct, the total amount of oil now in the Gulf would be approximately 150,000 barrels (or 6,300,000 gallons). That’s barely enough to fill 286 swimming pools: sixteen feet, by thirty-two feet, by eight and a half feet deep. That wouldn’t cover an area the size of New York City, let alone an area the size of Delaware. Obviously, the spill is much larger than we are being led to believe. If the leak can’t be stopped, in a year’s time, we’ll have roughly 18,250,000 barrels of oil (or 766,500,000 gallons) in our oceans, killing our marine and animal wildlife. Such a calamity would be environmentally and economically disastrous. I’m not a religious man, but I pray that BP and our government work fast to end this catastrophe.

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