Oil Spill to Reach Atlantic Ocean
May 20, 2010, 4:38 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Oil Spill to Reach Atlantic Ocean

Press TV
May 17, 2010

The oil spill from a British Petroleum (BP) sunken rig in the Gulf of Mexico may have reached a major current in the Atlantic Ocean, scientists say.

Computer models show the oil may have already entered a water stream, known as the ‘loop current,’ which could propel plumes of oil into the Atlantic Ocean, William Hogarth, a researcher at the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science said on Sunday, the Associated Press reported.

Other scientists, however, say that damage is already done and it is not clear how much more oil is to come.

“Obviously the quicker they plug this, the better, but they are already having a tremendous effect on the environment,” said Paul Montagna, from the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies in Texas.

Meanwhile, after many setbacks, BP managed to plug a tube into the ruptured wellhead on Sunday and partially funnel the crude into a tanker ship.

However, millions of liters of oil already in the Gulf of Mexico have endangered the ecosystem and environment.

The crisis started three weeks ago when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and the wellhead, beneath it, ruptured. As a result of the incident, an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil is gushed into water everyday.

The leak, which is said to be spreading ten times faster than had been estimated, has already eclipsed the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill, as the worst environmental disaster in the United States.


Gulf Oil Is in the Loop Current, Experts Say

National Geographic
May 18, 2010

Satellite pictures show the Gulf oil spill moving toward the Loop Current, which is illustrated at bottom.

Some oil from the Gulf of Mexico spill is “increasingly likely” to be dragged into a strong current that hugs Florida’s coasts, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials said today.

But other experts say that the oil is already there—satellite images show oil caught up in one of the eddies, or powerful whorls, attached to the Loop Current, a high-speed stream that pulses north into the Gulf of Mexico and travels in a clockwise pattern toward Florida.

Images from the past few days show a “big, wide tongue” of oil reaching south from the main area of the spill, off the coast of Louisiana, said Nan Walker, director of Louisiana State University’s Earth Scan Laboratory, in the School of the Coast and Environment.

Meanwhile, a particular eddy has intensified and expanded north in recent days. The images reveal that the eddy has snagged oil and pulled it southeastward 100 miles (about 160 kilometers), which means the crude is now circulating inside the turbulent waters.

The oil has also reached the point where the eddy connects to the Loop Current, Walker said. That means the oil is traveling eastward alongside the main stream of the Loop Current, and it’s likely that it will continue flowing with the current to Florida, Walker said.

Mitchell Roffer, president of Roffer’s Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service in West Melbourne, Florida, has also been tracking the oil spill by satellite.

“Several scientists from different organizations have seen the oil in the Loop Current” via “clear and dramatic” satellite pictures, Roffer said.

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While watching the latest news about the BP Oil spill, a frightening thought came to mind: what if we can’t stop the oil? I mean, what happens if after all the measures to cap the pipe fail, (i.e., “Top Hat”, “Small Hat” and “Top Kill”). What then? An accident this problematic is new territory for BP. The oil pipeline is nearly a mile down on the ocean floor, accessible only by robots. Add on top of that the extreme pressure at which the oil is flowing out of the pipeline and there you have it: the perfect storm.

Moreover, scientists also claim that they’ve found an enormous plume of oil floating just under the surface of the ocean measuring approximately 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick. (I’m no math genius, but I bet one of you reading this could figure out just how many barrels of oil that is…)

There are new estimates that the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico is anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil a day: that’s a far cry from BP’s estimated 5,000 barrels a day. If BP’s estimates are correct, the total amount of oil now in the Gulf would be approximately 150,000 barrels (or 6,300,000 gallons). That’s barely enough to fill 286 swimming pools: sixteen feet, by thirty-two feet, by eight and a half feet deep. That wouldn’t cover an area the size of New York City, let alone an area the size of Delaware. Obviously, the spill is much larger than we are being led to believe. If the leak can’t be stopped, in a year’s time, we’ll have roughly 18,250,000 barrels of oil (or 766,500,000 gallons) in our oceans, killing our marine and animal wildlife. Such a calamity would be environmentally and economically disastrous. I’m not a religious man, but I pray that BP and our government work fast to end this catastrophe.

Comment by The Destructionist

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