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BP’s Gulf Oil Spill Worst in U.S. History

NEWS
BP’s Gulf Oil Spill Worst in U.S. History

Friday, May 28, 2010

Earth

••• BP’s oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is the worst spill in U.S. history, a government panel says.

Marcia McNutt, of the U.S. Geological Survey, said the amount of oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon has eclipsed the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, and could be flowing at a rate nearly four times BP’s recent estimates.

BP has estimated some 5,000 barrels – totalling about 795,000 litres – have been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico every day, but some scientists have given estimates of up to 20 times more with the U.S. Geological Survey now putting the figure at 12,000 barrels.
Some 260,000 barrels of oil in total were released in the Exxon Valdez disaster.

If the panel’s calculations are accurate, a total of at least 260,000 barrels of oil have spilled into the ocean by May 17.

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal said more than 100 miles of the state’s 400-mile coast was now affected.
President Obama will make an announcement later on strict new regulations for oil drilling in U.S. waters.

After several failed attempts to plug the leak, BP has been using the ‘top kill’ procedure, which involves pumping mud and cement into the oil well.

The LA Times reported that the operation to stem the flow of oil had worked but BP’s chief executive said the firm remained cautious about the chances of success.

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