Oil Spill Estimates Still Increasing

When the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill was first ‘announced’ on April 23rd it was reported to be spilling about 200 barrels (8,400 gallons) of crude into the ocean per day.


The last estimate I have seen, for the 21st of June, puts the flow at 100,000 barrels (4.2 million gallons or 19 million litres) per day. This was on the Australian newspaper’s web site (here).

The illustration at left, captured from the treehugger.com site (here) shows the increases in the estimates starting with the original announcement of the flow by BP on April 23rd. It only goes up to June 15th so it does not show the latest 100,000 barrels per day estimate.

The average petrol tanker holds 40,000 litres. Based on the current estimates this means that the BP blowout spill is spewing out about 470 average tanker loads of crude into the ocean every day.

Assuming this is more or less the average flow rate from day one, which is almost certainly the case (and it is more likely to be higher than lower), then crude has been gushing out into the ocean for 65 days at 100,000 barrels per day. That comes to 30,500 tanker loads or 1,235 million litres (1.235E9).