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100K Barrels – Minimum

Gulf Gusher symbolAt 10:00AM CDT the Leak Meter hit 4,200,000 gallons which is 100,000 barrels of oil. That is a minimum figure which other people think is off by a factor of 5.

The Pensacola News Journal carried the report: Oil leak is 5 times greater than reported by officials

The amount of oil gushing from BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil disaster is five times more than what the oil company and the U.S. Coast Guard are currently estimating, said a Florida State University oceanography professor on Saturday.

At an oil spill environmental forum at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front, Ian MacDonald said the blowout is gushing 25,000 barrels a day.

The Coast Guard and BP estimate 5,000 barrels a day of crude is spewing into the Gulf.

MacDonald said his estimate is based on satellite images and government maps forecasting the slick’s trajectory.

Florida universities and colleges have formed the Oil Spill Academic Task Force (OSATF) to provide as much information as possible about the spill, but they are facing a desert of data from BP and the government who are treating the spill as classified. I understand about BP, they are a corporation and lie, stall, and stonewall reflexively, but the government needs to start acting with some transparency if they don’t want to look like an unindicted co-conspirator in BP’s problems.

I fail to understand why Florida’s government refuses to back water-sampling in the Gulf. They are going to need facts when they file suit against BP to be reimbursed, and this would provide them. BP has a long history of not paying until being sued, so the state should be working on the law suit now.


1 Badtux { 05.10.10 at 6:14 pm }

Florida’s government is comprised of Republicans, ni? As in, if a corporation does it, it can’t be wrong, so clearly if BP isn’t giving them any data, it’s because the Florida government doesn’t need it, and if the Florida government doesn’t need that data, then clearly sampling water is going against BP’s err God’s plan and … err. Am I making sense? No? That just might qualify me to be a Florida Republican, I guess :(.
.-= last blog ..Next talking point: "Gulf oil spill caused by government!" =-.

2 Steve Bates { 05.10.10 at 7:52 pm }

There’s applicable doggerel (parody, actually) on the YSS site.
.-= last blog ..New Times, New Rhymes =-.

3 Bryan { 05.10.10 at 9:29 pm }

Actually, Badtux, I think it is related to the politicians. I think the state is broke. BP gave the $25 million, but the state is certainly not rushing to give any of that money to the counties that are actually deploying the booms and absorbents. Tallahassee could be using it to cover bond payments coming due.

Steve, we may as well laugh about it, because nothing else seems to work.

4 JuanitaM { 05.11.10 at 2:17 pm }

Amazing that the state is not sample testing. Are any of the wildlife groups or universities working on that on their own?

Up here, we’re not all that familiar with how dispersants act in an oil spill. Could the dispersants cause some of the oil to move down in the lower currents instead of floating on top of the water? I mean could it be there, and you couldn’t observe it with the naked eye?

5 Bryan { 05.11.10 at 3:33 pm }

Juanita, many of the dispersants are toxic in their own right, and there is definitely oil below that isn’t rising to the surface. There are scuba divers checking on some sites for the appearance of oil, but this stuff readily emulsifies, so it only look like cloudy water. That’s why people are doing their own sampling, but there is no organized effort.

Water monitoring is our first line of defense, because there are different currents at different depths in the Gulf. The bottom is like stair steps, not a continuous slope. The surface current is affected by the wind, but the lower currents aren’t. If the majority of the oil gets caught in the Loop, the tar balls could show up any where from the West Coast of the peninsula to Britain because of the Loop and the Gulf Stream. All of the Atlantic Coast could be affected.

6 JuanitaM { 05.11.10 at 4:48 pm }

So, all this stuff could be floating in various currents underneath the surface, but the State of Florida doesn’t really want to know about it. Which means they can’t plan ahead. I’m confused.

BTW, I keep looking at the “Leak Meter” you have posted. This is truly horrifying. Where the Gulf Stream is going to take all this is a scary, scary thought.

What an irony that this rig exploded only, what, a week or so after Obama’s announcement about extending studies for exploration. I don’t live in the coal mining areas in the Appalachians, but they’re not geographically all that far from us. We have mine explosions and days of hideous waiting to find survivors which is a nightmare in itself. But watching this oil disaster slowly creep further and further into what should be pristine waters, knowing all the devastation this will bring, is a nightmare of an entirely different dimension.

7 Bryan { 05.11.10 at 5:33 pm }

I really think it is a matter of not having the money to do anything about it. The Republicans have cooked the books for so long that I don’t think people understand how broke the state really is. I honestly think they are holding onto the $25 million that BP gave them to cover checks that they have to write. The state lost a bundle by investing in Lehman Brothers which went bankrupt. The CEO at the time was Bush kin, and hired JEB Bush when he left the governor’s mansion. Add in the lost revenues from the burst of the housing bubble, the general recession, the higher than national average unemployment, and you end up with no money for anything.

This is like a fire in a coal seam. You know it is happening below you, but you don’t know where it will pop up. No one really knows how to put those out either. All you can do is watch and wait.

8 JuanitaM { 05.11.10 at 6:08 pm }

Yeah, I know what you mean about the money thing. Last I checked, Virginia had received about $4 billion less in revenue than they needed to pay the bills this year. Of course, you guys also had the Bushy connection with their slant to all things business.

Looks like the heavy lifting in this thing will be done by your local groups of wildlife professionals and volunteers on their own. No help from government. No help from BP, Transocean, or Halliburton.

Watch and wait. Has an ominous sound to it.

9 Bryan { 05.11.10 at 9:47 pm }

BP is doing their best to ensure that there are no dramatic pictures coming from the spill, including none of their video from their Remotely Operated Vehicles that would show how bad the leaks really are.

The purpose of the dispersants is to camouflage the real extent of the leak and to keep as much as possible off the surface.

You do what you can with what you have.

The problem with watch and wait, is all of the people who won’t come to the Gulf Coast at what is always the best time. The water is warming but not hot and there are no tropical storms ready to pounce. This is really the best time to see the area as it isn’t crowded and the Season price increases haven’t taken place.