Thursday, May 13, 2010

BP Oil Spill Is 10 Times Worse Than Estimated!

NPR said today that new data obtained by them shows that oil gushing out of the Deepwater Horizon pipe on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico is at least 10 times the U.S. Coast Guard's original estimate.

The U.S. Coast Guard had estimated that oil was gushing from a broken pipe on the Gulf floor at the rate of 5,000 barrels a day.

But sophisticated scientific analysis of sea floor video made available Wednesday by the oil company BP shows that the true figure is closer to 70,000 barrels a day, NPR's Richard Harris reports.

That means the oil spilling into the Gulf has already far exceeded the equivalent of the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker accident in Alaska, which spilled at least 250,000 barrels of oil.

The analysis was conducted by Steve Werely, an associate professor at Purdue University, using a technique called particle image velocimetry. Harris tells Michele Norris that the method is accurate to about 20 percent. That means the flow could range between 56,000 barrels a day and 84,000 barrels a day.

Another analysis by Eugene Chiang, a professor of astrophysics at the University of California Berkeley, calculated the rate of flow to be between 20,000 barrels a day and 100,000 barrels a day — both higher than the Coast Guard's estimate.

But the pipe is spewing both Oil and Natural Gas and the BP does not make it clear how much is oil and how much is gas.

"BP has always said there is no way to measure the amount spilling from the pipe," Harris said.

But, he said, the uncertainty could be reduced if BP would share more information with the scientists.

Gee, I wonder why they're not choosing to do that? 

P. S.  The Obama Administration is still standing by its March 31st decision to Expand Offshore Oil Drilling.  In fact,  just yesterday the President gave his support to the  Lieberman, Kerry Energy Bill   which calls for the same.

Just Thinking

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