Tony Allen-Mills and Craig Guillot
May 2, 2010
President Barack Obama will today visit the Gulf of Mexico coastline threatened by the giant oil spill, as experts warn that the spill from a ruptured oil rig might be growing five times faster than previously estimated.
The oil is gushing from BP’s sunker Deepwater Horizon rig at 25,000 barrels a day and could reach 50,000 barrels a day according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Earlier estimates had put the leak at 5,000 barrels a day.
Professor Ian MacDonald, an ocean specialist at Florida State University, said the new estimate suggested the leak had already spread 9m gallons of heavy crude oil across the Gulf. This compares with 11m that leaked from the Exxon Valdez tanker when it hit a reef off Alaska in 1989.
Miami University researcher Hans Gruber said satellite images of the slick on Friday showed it was three time bigger than estimated, covering an area of 3,500 square miles (9,000 square kilometers), similar in size to Puerto Rico.
This article was posted: Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 3:24 am