Final tally of oil spill: 4.9 million barrels

posted at 8:48 am on August 3, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig spilled more oil from the Macondo well than anyone guessed, the Washington Post reports.  Initially, the Coast Guard estimated a flow rate of 5,000 barrels a day, but the actual rate was at least twelve times that.  The well released almost five million barrels through its broken riser pipe, turning it into the worst unintentional oil spill in history:

The blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico gushed 12 times faster than the government and BP estimated in the early weeks of the crisis and has spilled a whopping 4.9 million barrels, or 205.8 million gallons, according to a more detailed analysis announced late Monday.

BP’s Macondo well spewed 62,000 barrels of oil a day initially, and as the reservoir gradually depleted itself, the flow eased to 53,000 barrels a day until the well was finally capped and sealed July 15, according to scientists in the Flow Rate Technical Group, supervised by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The new numbers once again have nudged upward the statistical scale of the disaster. If correct — the government allows for a margin of error of 10 percent — the flow rate would make this spill significantly larger than the Ixtoc I blowout of 1979, which polluted the southern Gulf of Mexico with 138 million gallons over the course of 10 months. That had been the largest unintentional oil spill in history, surpassed only by the intentional spills in 1991 during the Persian Gulf War.

BP captured over 800,000 barrels of oil in its “top cap” operation from last month, about a sixth of the total amount spewed.  Another 1.2 million barrels have either been skimmed, burned, or recaptured by other means.  Some of the remaining three million barrels of oil has dissipated, probably through the Gulf’s natural ability to consume oil through microbes in the water, but the rest of it probably lurks below the surface and will remain there for a long while.

To put this in another perspective, the total amount lost in the Gulf represents what the US normally consumes — in six hours.  The US consumes just under 20 million barrels of oil a day.  That’s less than a couple of years ago, before the economic collapse curtailed energy demand, but still puts us in the number 1 position, almost three times more than China, our closest competitor for the resource (the latter data as of January 2009).

As the Post reports, the calculation of the spill has legal ramifications.  At the least, BP will pay $1100 for every barrel spilled, assuming it didn’t act with negligence.  If a court finds “gross negligence,” the fine ascends t0 $4300 per barrel.  It’s the difference between $4.5 billion and $17.6 billion, and that is separate from the $20 billion fund to cover damage claims from the spill, which may or may not cover all of the claims.

BP has a big bill coming, and we have a lot of questions to ask about the quality of information coming from the administration’s response team in the first weeks of the disaster.

Update: HA reader GulfCoastTider reminds me via Twitter that BP didn’t make any estimates of oil flow during the crisis.  I’ve corrected the lead paragraph to reflect that.


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Can they prove it in court? Doubtful — And isn’t that going to be the real problem, now that most of the oil evaporated?

tarpon on August 3, 2010 at 8:52 AM

Plus $20 billion in shakedown charges from Obama. Plus the cost of the cleanup.

hawksruleva on August 3, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Just out of curiousity, I’d like to know the means by which they arrived at those numbers.

listens2glenn on August 3, 2010 at 8:55 AM

This whole thing has been blown way out of porportion by the media. Their agenda from the get go on this was to to destroy BP as an oil company and attempt to turn public opinion against oil in general. I can’t recall how many articles/Op Ed’s I saw that said this was the end of oil consumtption in the US and we to switch to green energy immediately because the Gulf has been destroyed. nothing can live in the gulf in an area the size of Florida, etc.

Johnnyreb on August 3, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Can they prove it in court? Doubtful — And isn’t that going to be the real problem, now that most of the oil evaporated?

tarpon on August 3, 2010 at 8:52 AM

It’ll be a complicated case, but there’s plenty of evidence for a finding of negligence by BP. They clearly pushed the drilling team to cut corners in an effort to speed up the process. That corner cutting helped cause the accident.

hawksruleva on August 3, 2010 at 8:56 AM

5 million barrels… Yeah…sure…

lied, damned lies and statistics…

They can’t even account for oil they SWEAR has to be in the ocean but can’t be found.

Like the Swine Flu pandemic of 2009 where 5 million people of the world died due to incompetent government’s refusal to get vaccines out to …uh… oh wait… that’s not what actually happened either.

Y’see this works both ways. BP low balled their number of barrels that were leaked and I’m 110% sure that the US has high balled their figure. But, as usual, we can’t question the scientists because they’re… y’know… smart or impartial or something…
“But BP has scientists…”
Yes but they’re BIASED and evil and have an agenda which is to save their jobs at the oil company. The government approved scientists are hand picked lovingly from the great universities of America for their hard work and talent and strive only to present the truth and…
“Don’t the government approved scientists get government funding and wouldn’t that get cut off if the government didn’t get any money out of the spill?”
Obviously you rethuglicans don’t understand higher education…

Skywise on August 3, 2010 at 8:57 AM

Strange. Usually when there’s a leak reported by the Washington Post, it turns out to be an exaggeration…

apostic on August 3, 2010 at 8:57 AM

Just out of curiousity, I’d like to know the means by which they arrived at those numbers.

listens2glenn on August 3, 2010 at 8:55 AM

I’m betting reaching into a hat with folded-up pieces of paper was involved.

hawksruleva on August 3, 2010 at 8:57 AM

It’ll be a complicated case, but there’s plenty of evidence for a finding of negligence by BP. They clearly pushed the drilling team to cut corners in an effort to speed up the process. That corner cutting helped cause the accident.

hawksruleva on August 3, 2010 at 8:56 AM

With government approval by the Obama Administration. How shall we hold them accountable?

Skywise on August 3, 2010 at 8:58 AM

Actually, China just passed us in energy consumption

John Deaux on August 3, 2010 at 9:01 AM

we have a lot of questions to ask about the quality of information coming from the administration’s response team in the first weeks of the disaster.

here’s the answers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJVl6Iuiy00

ted c on August 3, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Like I said in May 2010, in 30 months no one will remember anything about the oil except for the lawyers.

jbh45 on August 3, 2010 at 9:03 AM

The figure sounds plausible – using this tool, given the 20 inch diameter of the broken riser pipe and oil flowing out at an average rate of 1.7 feet per second for 86 days, that would correspond to roughly 57,000 barrels per day.

By comparison, the U.S. imported an average of 78,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Norway in May 2010, the U.S.’ 15th largest national supplier of oil products.

ironman on August 3, 2010 at 9:09 AM

we have a lot of questions to ask about the quality of information coming from the administration’s response team in the first weeks of the disaster.

i’m worried about the negligence of this administration…

cmsinaz on August 3, 2010 at 9:09 AM

The first post says it. Much of this evaporated. The reason to start burning immediately is the lighter solvents are more flammable. As the crude breaks down, many solid particles will fall to the ocean floor and join dead plant and animal life in becoming shale.

seven on August 3, 2010 at 9:09 AM

… natural ability to consume oil through microbes in the water, but the rest of it probably lurks below the surface and will remain there for a long while.

Why? Is the oil underwater somehow immune to the microbes?

neobadger on August 3, 2010 at 9:10 AM

I interviewd a dive shop operator here in Pensacola. Our most famous wreck is the USS Oriskany, which like about 17 miles off the coast. The dive shop operator said they have been diving the wrecks since the spill started and they have only seen surface oil. There is no oil on any of the wrecks in the Alabama or Florida waters.

This may have something to do with the fact that there are 650 Quadrillion gallons (6.50 x10+17) of water in the GoM compared to the 200 Million gallons (2.00 x 10+8) spilled.

The dive shop, MBT Divers, has a great video up of the underwater conditions at the Oriskany, which sits in about 200 feet of water. HERE IS THE LINK

al sends

afterdarknesslight on August 3, 2010 at 9:11 AM

now that most of the oil evaporated?

Or was it broken up by the use of toxic dispersants? I’ve read that, but I have no idea if that information is from a credible source. Who knows? The Won ordered the media to stay away, and like the obedient lap-dogs they are, the media obeyed.

And I can’t help but question, was the delay somehow tied to GM’s introduction of the Electric Disaster- the Volt?

Sorry. Ithink it was the old Buffalo Springfield tune that went, “…paranoia strikes deep, into your (heart/mind?) it will creep…”

oldleprechaun on August 3, 2010 at 9:11 AM

200,000,000 gallons of oil in
650,000,000,000,000,000 of water.

davidk on August 3, 2010 at 9:12 AM

I heard on the radio this morning that one of the dispersants used was not near as toxic as reported.

OT: also heard NYT writer Ronald Kessler on the radio who is hawking his new book about presidents and behind the scenes with the secret service. The favorite president with the Secret Service? Ronald Reagan. The most despised? Jimmah Carter.

He told the story about how Reagan was so loved by the Service and when the Gary Hart story about to break, the agent told Reagan on an elevator. Reagan replied: “Well, boys will by boys.” Then a long pause. “But boys will never be president.”

carbon_footprint on August 3, 2010 at 9:19 AM

The Mississippi River deposits more than 3.3 million gallons of water into the Gulf every second.
The Mississippi River contributes more than 90 percent of the fresh water entering the Gulf.

http://www.epa.gov/gmpo/about/facts.html

davidk on August 3, 2010 at 9:19 AM

re: toxic dispersants- I knew I’d seen it somewhere:

http://wydaily.com/local-news/4792-vims-prof-warns-congress-of-potential-tradeoffs-in-gulf-oil-dispersant-strategy.html

oldleprechaun on August 3, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Reagan replied: “Well, boys will by boys.” Then a long pause. “But boys will never be president until 2009.” carbon_footprint on August 3, 2010 at 9:19 AM

FIFY

Akzed on August 3, 2010 at 9:21 AM

Some of the remaining three million barrels of oil has dissipated, probably through the Gulf’s natural ability to consume oil through microbes in the water, but the rest of it probably lurks below the surface and will remain there for a long while.

MOST, almost all, of the remaining three million barrels was either consumed by microbes or broken up the sun and wave action.

There is very little evidence to support the massive underwater oil plumes roaming the open ocean idea. It’s a nice boogeyman theory though and it allows the media to act like there is still some massive ecological disaster waiting to happen if those plume come up from the murky depths to bespoil some habitat.

63K barrels a day through the broken riser pipe? I’m very doubtful of that figure. Maybe after they cut away the mangled piping the flow could have increased to that amount temporarily, but the initial math on that shows a problem with pipe diameter, pressure, back-pressure (from seawater) and the obstruction of the mangled pipe.

Almost everything put out about this spill from the beginning has been lies, lies, misdirection and more lies. Just like the first sea turtles found dead were lies (they were land tortoises someone dunked in oil) and the first tarballs on Florida beaches (they were from Quaker State, not Deepwater); most of the statements, accusations and admissions in this whole event have been high theater.

They NEED this to be the largest in history, and data from the initial days of the spill is largely make-believe. If the rig couldn’t pump that volume out of the ground with unobstructed pipes, pumps, and no backpressure, it makes no sense that the mangled riser could release that volume of oil.

Almost everything about fishing has been a flat out lie too. 17K plus specimens collected by LDWF and 13k by Florida, they found ZERO contamination. Gulf Corals thrive on oil and in many cases grow directly upon gas hydrates on the ocean floor.

Jason Coleman on August 3, 2010 at 9:21 AM

Should have been “Boys will BE boys.”

Also, he said that Carter would make a point of carrying his own luggage (which was empty) when the cameras were on him. As soon as they were off, he made the agents haul it. Carter would not allow the agents to say good morning to him and he would also get to the office at five and told the agents to tell anyone who asked that he was working hard for the country, yet he would go right to sleep at his desk.

carbon_footprint on August 3, 2010 at 9:22 AM

This is exactly why we need to convert our energy systems to clean, natural, renewable unicorn farts.

Bishop on August 3, 2010 at 9:22 AM

unicorn farts? hmm…that would work.

becki51758 on August 3, 2010 at 9:22 AM

FIFY

Akzed on August 3, 2010 at 9:21 AM

Haha! Great point. So Obama’s is a historical presidency for more than one reason.

carbon_footprint on August 3, 2010 at 9:23 AM

I’m shocked, shocked that our planet can actually recover from this incredibly miniscule disaster!

Good Solid B-Plus on August 3, 2010 at 9:23 AM

BP low balled their number of barrels that were leaked

BP never gave a “number of barrels spilled” figure. The media reported BP as saying “x number of gallons are leaking” but BP never ever gave a flow rate or volume spilled. I’m sure the orders to not give those figures came directly from BP’s lawyers, but that’s immaterial.

They’ve always been either government figures or media’s estimates from “experts”.

Jason Coleman on August 3, 2010 at 9:30 AM

I wish I had saved the comment from right after this happened in which I predicted the Gulf would take care of itself eventually (I’m actually surprised it is happening this quickly) and some Gaia-worshipping troll scoffed at me. BP was negligent, of course, and should be rightfully prosecuted by those whose livelihoods have been affected (which means the Gulf states and their residents, not the litigation-happy Team Obama). But pay attention, anthrocentric warmists: We are not important or significant enough as a species to have any kind of real, long-term effect on this planet. Please get over yourselves; we are not that important.

NoLeftTurn on August 3, 2010 at 9:34 AM

The blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico gushed 12 times faster than the government and BP estimated in the early weeks of the crisis and has spilled a whopping 4.9 million barrels, or 205.8 million gallons, according to a more detailed analysis announced late Monday.

Meanwhile, the Metro Milwaukee Sewage District dumped 2.2 billion gallons (or 2,200 million gallons for the math-challenged) of sewage into Lake Michigan during last week’s storm. Of course, since city of Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, who appoints the majority of the MMSD board, is a Democrat seeking Wisconsin’s governorship, the envirowhackos are silent.

steveegg on August 3, 2010 at 9:36 AM

The figure sounds plausible – using this tool, given the 20 inch diameter of the broken riser pipe and oil flowing out at an average rate of 1.7 feet per second for 86 days, that would correspond to roughly 57,000 barrels per day.

At the rate of 1.7 feet per second, How do they know how much oil and how much gas came out of the well? Is it possible that there was actually a higher volume of natural gas that flowed out than oil? What is the fine for natural gas leak as opposed to an oil leak?
Just wondering.

Guest1.1 on August 3, 2010 at 9:42 AM

4.9 Million gallons? Paupers! Within a 9 day span, the city of Milwaukee dumped 2.6 BILLION gallons of raw sewage into lake Michigan and not a peep from the environmentalists.

BP just needs to realize that if they just turn themselves into a government entity, all sins will forgiven/ignored.

WisRich on August 3, 2010 at 9:42 AM

NoLeftTurn on August 3, 2010 at 9:34 AM

You can probably google it. Put some of the words you used than NoLeftTurn HotAir and it will show up.

Cindy Munford on August 3, 2010 at 9:47 AM

I know that they have to have some kind of estimate for litigation and historic reasons, but I found the constant harping by the media very irritating.

Cindy Munford on August 3, 2010 at 9:49 AM

WisRich on August 3, 2010 at 9:42 AM

I get your point, but it’s 4.9 million barrels, which is 205 million gallons.

Ed Morrissey on August 3, 2010 at 9:57 AM

Can anyone suggest a Gulf town with a nice beach, and for a few days of vacation?

ParisParamus on August 3, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Ed,

Thanks. Missed the barrels vs. gallons. My mistake. However, the larger point stands.

WisRich on August 3, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Does anyone know if the relief wells are going to be used to continue pumping the oil out? I hate to see a massive oil deposit just sit there when it’s already been drilled.

Golden Boy on August 3, 2010 at 10:20 AM

FIFY

Akzed on August 3, 2010 at 9:21 AM

You do understand that changing Reagan’s words, to a conservative, is like changing God’s word…thou hast sinned…

right2bright on August 3, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Can anyone suggest a Gulf town with a nice beach, and for a few days of vacation?

Sorry, but we’ve already planned to visit the Grand Canyon State. (For you trolls who are lacking in knowledge of the United States, that would be Arizona.)

oldleprechaun on August 3, 2010 at 10:39 AM

So does BP get to write off the loss of 5 billion barrels of oil on their taxes? If so, one would want that number to be really, really big.

albill on August 3, 2010 at 10:42 AM

Ed,

Thanks. Missed the barrels vs. gallons. My mistake. However, the larger point stands.

WisRich on August 3, 2010 at 10:03 AM

So you are suggesting that 205 million gallons is no big deal and the ocean will just merrily disperse it? Come visit the Louisiana coast and I think you will have a different perspective.
Not to mention the long term concerns about effect on food supply. I think that merits just a wee bit of concern. Rush seems to think all that water will dilute it but his area of expertise is not biology or anything remotely related to the environmental impacts. To be fair some of the environmentalists he criticizes have no more expertise in this area than he does.
What is the harm in letting the scientists examine it and determine what real impacts may be a risk? In the 24 hour news cycle everyone seems to want the quick fix and to move onto the next story. It really is not that simple when you have 205 million gallons of oil dumped into the environment.

Bradky on August 3, 2010 at 11:26 AM

Update: HA reader GulfCoastTider reminds me via Twitter that BP didn’t make any estimates of oil flow during the crisis. I’ve corrected the lead paragraph to reflect that.

This was Obama’s meme from the start. How is it you need “remind”ing? I expect HA to be meme-free. Maybe others do as well.

faraway on August 3, 2010 at 11:34 AM

tarpon on August 3, 2010 at 8:52 AM

The oil has not evaporated.

ernesto on August 3, 2010 at 11:45 AM

and has spilled a whopping 4.9 million barrels, or 205.8 million gallons, according to a more detailed analysis announced late Monday.

205,800,000 / 660,000,000,000,000,000 (total volume) = 3.11818182 × 10^-10

RadClown on August 3, 2010 at 11:52 AM

If these numbers are coming from the regime, then I say they’re bs.

thekingtut on August 3, 2010 at 12:05 PM

And then they loaded the Gulf with dispersants to cover up the oil quantity – dispersants that are at least as damaging as the oil itself.

paul1149 on August 3, 2010 at 12:08 PM

And then they loaded the Gulf with dispersants to cover up the oil quantity – dispersants that are at least as damaging as the oil itself.

paul1149 on August 3, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Who is they? And what chemicals exactly are in the dispersants?

faraway on August 3, 2010 at 12:12 PM

What is in the dispersants: Ingredients of Controversial Dispersants Used on Gulf Spill Are Secrets No More

Look past al New York Times attempt at sensationalism and do your own research on the components. As you might have suspected, many of the ingredients are commonly found in consumer products like baby wipes and beverages.

Nevertheless it is quite proper to ask whether the Gulf would have cleaned itself up just as effectively without the cost of the dispersants.

slickwillie2001 on August 3, 2010 at 12:25 PM

dispersants that are at least as damaging as the oil itself.

paul1149 on August 3, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Which ingredient is damaging, and what kind of damage will it do?

faraway on August 3, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Once again, we’ll never know the true numbers.

For BP a low number means less liability.

For Obowma a high number means more ammo against drilling.

For the media it’s 4.5 eleventy million gallons, and it’s all lurking below the surface and transforming into sludge monsters who will start eating “poor” people.

For the permanently pessimistic only-government-can-take-of-me types, the spill is the largest disaster in the history of the world and nothing will change that view.

The overly optimistic think that the gulf has already taken care of all the oil.

The answer is in there somewhere.

reaganaut on August 3, 2010 at 12:39 PM

Which ingredient is damaging, and what kind of damage will it do?

Katie Couric didn’t elaborate, but big oil = evil, so by default all chemicals they use must be evil. (No, I’m not defending, specifically).

I believe it is the mixture of chemicals, oil, warm water and bacteria that are transforming the deep water oil deposits into man-eating monsters. Furthermore, Republicans are using the SS Rove (submarine) to hit the sludge monsters with mind controlling sonar so that it only feasts on children, women and minorities.

reaganaut on August 3, 2010 at 12:44 PM

No, I’m not defending BP

reaganaut on August 3, 2010 at 12:44 PM

Oil is racist?

faraway on August 3, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Oil is racist?

faraway on August 3, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Nope, it can’t because it’s black.

In other news, never under estimate the power of Mother Nature to heal herself…

Wyznowski on August 3, 2010 at 12:56 PM

I would like to see and estimate of methane released, and light hydrocarbons estimated evaporated.

Wondering why AGW people aren’t all over this.

And off of my back.

tomg51 on August 3, 2010 at 1:14 PM

So you are suggesting that 205 million gallons is no big deal and the ocean will just merrily disperse it? Come visit the Louisiana coast and I think you will have a different perspective.
Not to mention the long term concerns about effect on food supply. I think that merits just a wee bit of concern. Rush seems to think all that water will dilute it but his area of expertise is not biology or anything remotely related to the environmental impacts. To be fair some of the environmentalists he criticizes have no more expertise in this area than he does.
What is the harm in letting the scientists examine it and determine what real impacts may be a risk? In the 24 hour news cycle everyone seems to want the quick fix and to move onto the next story. It really is not that simple when you have 205 million gallons of oil dumped into the environment.

Bradky on August 3, 2010 at 11:26 AM

No, not at all. What I’m saying is I wish the sewage dumping got 1/100th the attention that the oil spill got. There is no effort by the press our local environmentalists to call attention to flaw in our system, let alone fix it.

WisRich on August 3, 2010 at 1:51 PM

The largest oil spill in US history was the Lakeview, California gusher in 1909. About 9 million barrels of which about half was recovered. This was on land, but the news reports of “the biggest” don’t specify land or water.

It is possible (IMO likely) that the leakage rate increased with time. Casual comparison of the ROV feeds from the end of the broken riser to later cut pipe seems to be at least a two fold increase in flow. Even the leak at the sharp bend above the BOP clearly increased with time. The rate of erosion will be determined by examination of the BOP later. All of the reports before then will just be numbers retrieve from an anal cavity.

deadman on August 3, 2010 at 2:12 PM

Note that the democratics, and Dingy Harry in particular, are going after natural gas as well: Harry Reid pulls a fast one to sabotage shale gas development

One would think that natural gas would be the progressives’ favorite fuel. This demonstrates that they are the enemy of all industry and energy. If a new energy source was discovered tomorrow that was absolutely clean, safe, and nearly free, the democratics would find a way to make it illegal.

slickwillie2001 on August 3, 2010 at 2:42 PM

the rest of it probably lurks below the surface and will remain there for a long while

How does this work? Is the specific gravity of the oil the same as salt water?

If it is heavier, it should drop to the bottom and wave action may ball it up and push it around, but it should be seen lying on the bottom.

If it is lighter, it should be on the surface, to be seen.

It seems highly suspect that it would be the same specific gravity as salt water, which would be necessary for it to hover submerged.

MTinMN on August 3, 2010 at 4:22 PM

The largest oil spill in US history was the Lakeview, California gusher in 1909. About 9 million barrels of which about half was recovered. This was on land, but the news reports of “the biggest” don’t specify land or water.

It is possible (IMO likely) that the leakage rate increased with time. Casual comparison of the ROV feeds from the end of the broken riser to later cut pipe seems to be at least a two fold increase in flow. Even the leak at the sharp bend above the BOP clearly increased with time. The rate of erosion will be determined by examination of the BOP later. All of the reports before then will just be numbers retrieve from an anal cavity.

deadman on August 3, 2010 at 2:12 PM

Wow an actual sane and informed post!

To anyone who has actually paid attention there were some pretty severe restrictions to flow before the riser was sheared just above the LMRP. It was crimped in several places and in one section it was actually collapsed due to vacuum pulled during the blowout.

Additionally, that which has been captured is extremely gassy with the gas cut fluctuating between 2200 and 3000 cubic feet of natural gas per barrel of oil. From what I’ve seen in ROV feed is that that which is escaping from under the various “top hats” has been more gas and dispersant than oil.

WaPo just plain oil blows and is far more damaging in its reporting than all the oil spills in the world.

Kermit on August 3, 2010 at 5:38 PM

So you are suggesting that 205 million gallons is no big deal and the ocean will just merrily disperse it? Come visit the Louisiana coast and I think you will have a different perspective.
Not to mention the long term concerns about effect on food supply. I think that merits just a wee bit of concern. Rush seems to think all that water will dilute it but his area of expertise is not biology or anything remotely related to the environmental impacts. To be fair some of the environmentalists he criticizes have no more expertise in this area than he does.
What is the harm in letting the scientists examine it and determine what real impacts may be a risk? In the 24 hour news cycle everyone seems to want the quick fix and to move onto the next story. It really is not that simple when you have 205 million gallons of oil dumped into the environment.

Bradky on August 3, 2010 at 11:26 AM

Having personally dealt with oil soaked marshes for decades, the earth heals itself without longer damage from oil spills. However, saltwater intrusion is an entirely different issue.

Kermit on August 3, 2010 at 5:40 PM

It seems highly suspect that it would be the same specific gravity as salt water, which would be necessary for it to hover submerged.

MTinMN on August 3, 2010 at 4:22 PM

The lefties will never admit that it is mostly gone, they will invent hiding places for it. They will never acknowledge that if completely dispersed into the gulf, the amount of oil per volume of water is insignificant.

slickwillie2001 on August 3, 2010 at 6:22 PM

deadman on August 3, 2010 at 2:12 PM

Kermit on August 3, 2010 at 5:38 PM

Both of you folks; well said!

People, this new 4.9 million barrel number is an estimate, not a measurement of any kind.

http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/doc/2931/840475/

At meetings on July 30 and July 31, the group of federal and independent scientists and engineers discussed new analyses and data points to provide the updated range, relying heavily on newly available pressure readings from the new containment cap. An estimation of how much the flow rate has decreased over time was enabled by observing the pressure at shut in and by initial pressure estimates for the well when it was first drilled.

“The revised estimates are part of this Administration’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that we have the most accurate information possible,” said Secretary Chu. “I am grateful to the scientists and engineers who have worked diligently to help us meet that goal.”…

…Today’s improved flow rate estimate brings together the work of several scientific teams and is based on a combination of analyses of high resolution videos taken by ROVs, measurements and modeling of reservoir and well properties, acoustic technologies, and measurements of oil collected by the oil production ship together with pressure measurements inside the containment cap.

dissent555 on August 3, 2010 at 7:49 PM