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Graph: How big can spill get?

Graph: How big can spill get?

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Published by The State Newspaper

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Published by: The State Newspaper on May 25, 2010
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Size of growing spill is unclear

The first relief well is scheduled to cap the gush of oil into the Gulf of Mexico by early August. At BP’s best-case scenario rate, the Deepwater Horizon spill will surpass the 1989 Exxon Valdez accident as the biggest oil catastrophe in U.S. history. BP conceded a worstcase scenario in congressional testimony that could make it the world’s largest accidental oil spill.

BP admits the leak could be up to 12 times the size of their bestcase scenario estimate

Estimates vary on how much oil is leaking daily

Outside experts 70,000 barrels per day

BP worst-case scenario 60,000 barrels per day BP’s best-case scenario 5,000 barrels per day

siphoned BP says its new siphon apparatus collects an average of 2,010 barrels of oil per day, which is anywehre from 3 to 42 percent of the leak






Estimates of total size of spill if leak is sealed by a relief well in 90 days (August), as BP plans

Deepwater Horizon spill

Past oil spills for comparison

Exxon Valdez

© 2010 MCT Source: AP, U.S. Coast Guard, BP, NOAA Graphic: Fred Tasker, Kara Dapena, Miami Herald

260,000 barrels Largest spill in U.S. history

BP best-case scenario

Ixtoc I, 1979

450,000 barrels

3.3 million barrels Mexican oil rig blowout 600 miles south of Texas is the largest accidental spill in history

BP worst-case scenario

5.4 million barrels BP officials told a U.S. House committee May 5 this could result if its efforts to stop the flow mistakenly increase it; they called this unlikely

Outside expert’s prediction

6.2 million barrels There are scientists who believe BP’s way of measuring is faulty; Purdue engineer Steve Wereley, other experts told Congress the spill is much worse than BP admits

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