Friday, April 30, 2010

'Worst Case' Oil Spill Scenario

Ben Raines in today's Mobile Register:
The worst-case scenario for the broken and leaking well gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico would be the loss of the wellhead currently restricting the flow to 5,000 barrels -- or 210,000 gallons per day.

If the wellhead is lost, oil could leave the well at a much greater rate, perhaps up to 150,000 barrels -- or more than 6 million gallons per day -- based on government data showing daily production at another deepwater Gulf well.

By comparison, the Exxon Valdez spill was 11 million gallons total. The Gulf spill could end up dumping the equivalent of 4 Exxon Valdez spills per week. [emphasis added]
That is a prospect so utterly appalling it leaves one stunned. To say nothing of this:
Thursday, federal officials said they were preparing for the worst-case scenario but didn't elaborate.
What kind of "preparation" could anyone make against the prospect of 6 million gallons of petroleum pollution a day bearing down on the Gulf Coast each and every day for two or three months until a new hole is drilled and the black crude river shut off? Abandon the coast?

A beach friend we were talking to today says this entire BP mess reminds her of nothing so much as 9-11. Because, she says, "It changes everything."

4-30 pm

National Public Radio is carrying the "worst case scenario" story, too. It is so painfully obvious the feds aren't "elaborating" on their plans because they don't have any.

We're not being critical, mind you. No one has a clue what to do right now with the consequences of "drill, baby, drill." Much less does anyone know what to do if 6 million gallons of crude a day begin gushing into the Gulf.

Meanwhile, Bryan at Why Now? reports newly "Independent" governor Charlie Crist has officially declared an "emergency" for the Florida Panhandle. North tells us what little that means.

4-30 PM

CBS has the BP oil leak, by the numbers.

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