Gulf Coast Oil Spill Much Bigger Than Current Public Estimates?

BP originally said just 1,000 gallons per day were leaking from the Gulf Coast oil spill. Then on Wednesday, BP upped their estimate to 5,000 gallons per day. But now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting even that figure could be just a fraction of what’s really spilling into the Gulf of Mexico:

Ian MacDonald, professor of oceanography at Florida State University who specializes in tracking ocean oil seeps from satellite imagery, said there may already be more than 9 million gallons of oil floating in the Gulf now, based on his estimate of a 25,000 barrel-a-day leak rate. That’s compared to 12 million gallons spilled in the Valdez accident.

Interior Department officials said it may take 90 days to cap the leaking well. If the 25,000 barrels a day is accurate and it leaks for 90 days, that’s 2.25 million barrels or 94.5 million gallons.

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Published: April 30, 2010