More Than 2K Barrels Of Oil Will Continue To Flow, Even With Cap On

A cattle egret wades in the marshes of the Sherburne Wildlife Management Area in Ramah, LA. (Photo: Coast Guard)

BP’s successful capping of the damaged wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico is yet another temporary solution to the 12,000 – 30,000 or more barrels per day that have been spewing unto the ocean since April 20.

According to the Deepwater Horizon respond command center, BP will be able to capture 90 percent of the oil with the new cap. The other 10 percent of the oil will flow unto the water. Ten percent is a low percentage estimate being made by BP — who has a bad reputation at presenting factual numbers. When the math is done, however, the number of gallons that will continue to spew with the cap on will be: 2,000 to 4,000 barrels of oil per day. That’s still quite significant.

Originally, the American people were led to believe that only 5,000 barrels of oil per day were being poured on the Gulf. But, the estimate went much higher as pressure to BP from environmental advocates forced the oil giant to explain why the spill was growing at the rate it did. Scientists and BP later admitted that the damaged wellhead was spewing as much as 12,000 to 30,000 barrels of crude per day. Some estimates put the leak at 56,000 to 84,000 barrels a day!

Having succeeded at placing the cap on the damaged blowout preventer, has given BP some relief since this bit of “good news” could ease tensions with the White House and the people on the Gulf. However, there are still unresolved issues that need to be dealt with which require continuous news coverage:

1) The continued flow of 2,000 to 4,000 barrels of crude per day
2) The fast moving oil sheen to the beaches at four states
3) The death of sea life and migratory birds
4) The oil trapped in the marshes of Louisiana
5) The economic impact that will continue to take a toll on Gulf communities and businesses.
6) The potential health impacts on the fishermen who continue to lay boom.
7) The future health of oysters, shrimp, and fish from Gulf waters.

This spill has become the biggest environmental disaster in US history and it is now almost three times bigger than the Exxon Valdez in Alaska. It will not be until August that this nightmare will be over. That’s when two relief wells will cement shut the damaged well.

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9 Responses to More Than 2K Barrels Of Oil Will Continue To Flow, Even With Cap On

  1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Steve
    June 4, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    That should 20,000 – 40,000 barrels per day, not gallons. At 42 gallons, per barrel, that’s quite a difference. It’s actually around 1,000,000 gallons per day.

    • +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dolores M. Bernal
      June 4, 2010 at 1:28 pm

      correction made. Thank you!

      • +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Steve
        June 4, 2010 at 1:32 pm

        That looks better. :) Where did the 10% remaining number come from, though. I didn’t see that one. All I’ve seen is Thad Allen claiming a recovery rate of around 1,000 barrels per day. That looks like they might be reclaiming 10% of the pre-cutoff leak rate, and even that doesn’t account for the increased flow rate after they cut off the kink in the pipe. They claimed that would increase the flow by about 20%, so we’ve taken one step forward after two steps back by my math.

    • +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dolores M. Bernal
      June 4, 2010 at 2:08 pm

      Thank you Tien, I added the link to the article.

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  3. Vote -1 Vote +1Jo Denny
    June 5, 2010 at 7:11 am

    Wow, that is downright scary stuff dude. Who would have thunk it.

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