So today, we’re finally getting closer to a final tally of just how much oil gushed out of BP’s Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, and what we’re finding out is that it is not only the worst spill in U.S. history, not just the biggest spill in the Gulf, but it’s one of the largest spills anywhere, ever.
But, of course, you already knew that, right? You did if you read this blog.
From the Journal:
Teams of scientists working with the U.S. government estimate that 62,000 barrels of oil a day—or a total of 4.9 million barrels—leaked into the Gulf of Mexico from the shattered well operated by BP PLC government agencies said Monday.
The new estimate exceeds scientists’ previous estimate. That one said the Macondo well was gushing between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels of oil a day after the April 20 blast aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig, which BP had leased to drill the well.
Now, then, let’s do the rough math. If 4.9 million barrels were leaked into the Gulf, at 42 gallons per barrel, then about 206 million gallons escaped into the ocean. These new numbers put the Macondo spill second on the leaderboard of worst spills ever, as the BBC reports. Now, I ask you, who said this spill would be the second-worst ever? I did. That’s who.
From, well, from me:
Maybe once BP gets an effective cap on the well, they can tell us how much crude’s flowing out of it; I don’t know who’d trust them to be truthful at this point, but they could at least hazard a guess. Personally, I think it’ll turn out to be worse than anybody expected, and it will go down on record as the second-worst spill in industry history, topped only by Saddam Hussein’s deliberate sabotaging of Kuwaiti oil terminals in 1991, which spilled at least 380 million gallons into the Persian Gulf.
But, you know, I’m generally an optimist.
Now, listen, I’m no engineer, no oceanographer, no government scientist, no corporate executive. I’m a reporter in New York City, a thousand miles away from the spill. But it was easy for even me to peg just how bad this spill would be. You know how I did it?
I just didn’t believe anything BP said.