Estimates for the Deepwater Oil Spill are getting wilder by the day.
At the very least, it’s an environmental disaster that will ravage the fragile New Orleans marshlands. It’s a PR disaster and financial disaster for all companies involved.
At worst, oil is coming up the east coast, wrecking the market, and coming out of your tax dollar.
So, let’s learn where we are, and how we got there.
April 20, 2010: During the final stage of a drilling a well -- BEFORE ANY OIL WAS PRODUCED -- a pressure build up caused an explosion
Deepwater used a Cameron (CAM) blowout preventer to cut flow in the event of abnormal pressure. It did not work.
April 30: Experts say the leakage could be much higher... estimates vary from 5,000 to 25,000 barrels per day
May 2: NOAA closes commercial and recreational fishing in a large part of the Gulf -- for at least 10 days
BP has been unable to close the leak using robotic vehicles. The next option involves putting a dome over the well head -- which could take weeks -- or introducing a second rig to siphon flow -- which could take months
At 5,000 bbl per day, it will take only 53 days for the spill to exceed Exxon-Valdez. If the leakage rate is higher...
Worst case scenario: oil could enter the gulf stream and spread up the east coast... and around the world
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