About 1.4 million barrels of crude may have already spewed into the Gulf of Mexico
[NOTE: Fire-Earth estimate for the amount of crude oil already leaked into GOM is about 700,000 barrels as of May 18.]
BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has already exceeded by a factor of 2.5 to 5 the magnitude of Exxon (Exxon Valdez) disaster in Prince William Sound, on the south coast of Alaska in 1989.
In the Exxon Valdez disaster an estimated 11 million gallons (262,000 barrels) of crude oil were released into the Alaskan waters. An estimated 30,000 gallons of crude still remains in the sand and soil.
Even at NOAA’s hugely underestimated calculation of 5,000bpd, the spill total now stands at 140,000 barrels (6 million gallons and counting).
Oil disasters are usually measured in terms of how many barrels of oil are spilled into the waters; however, the plight of so many millions of people whose livelihood depends on what was already an ailing body of water, has added a new socioeconomic dimension.
What BP Says:
BP Plc says its “quick fix” is sort of working. Using undersea remote control devices ['robots,'] their technicians have inserted a mile-long tube into the leaking riser, the massive ruptured pipe, and are siphoning about a fifth of the oil that is gushing out of the well.
GULF of MEXICO – Gas from the ruptured Deepwater Horizon wellhead is flared by the drillship Discoverer Enterprise May 16, 2010. A fraction of the gas and oil from the wellhead are being brought to the surface via a narrow siphoning tube that was placed inside the much wider damaged riser. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelley. [Caption edited by FEWW]
“I do feel that we have, for the first time, turned the corner in this challenge,” BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward said in Florida.
“Over the last 48 hours, we’re beginning to meet with some significant success.”
Clearly the criteria for success in BP minds is different to the rest of us. WE see the leak as still continuing.
Center for Public Integrity has released a new paper that shows 2 of the BP-owned U.S. refineries were responsible for 97 percent of the worst refining industry safety violations in the past three years, according to federal inspectors.
Let the federal inspectors call it safety violations, what BP has done in the Gulf of Mexico is corporate terrorism.
The suspected terrorist who left a car in New York’s Time Square recently which reportedly contained propane gas cylinders, which may or may not have exploded, and may or may not have killed anyone, would probably spend the rest of his life in a federal prison.
BP executives who have already killed 11 people, devastated at least twice as many families and left a number of orphans behind, on the other hand, are walking freely and discussing their next deepwater drilling project.
How Badly is Louisiana Affected?
Meanwhile, hundreds of shrimpers in Louisiana as well as many others whose income depends on fishing, tourism and related industries, have already lost their jobs, and are barely surviving, making ends meet by doing odd jobs where available.
US Coast Guard Rear Adm Peter Neffenger is on record as saying that the oil could be swept up into the “loop current” and move around Florida coastline.
“Currently it shows to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 40-50 miles [65km-80km] from the southern edge of the spill,” he said.
“We are watching that carefully and as a result of that we are preparing for potential impact on the southern Florida coast and impacts around the southern Florida coast.”
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