Top Kill Dead in the Water: What’s Next for the Deepwater Oil Spill?
Looks like the small hopes we had that BP’s effort to “top kill” the well in the Gulf were for naught.
Today, Mother Jones‘ Kate Sheppard reported that officials at BP say that not only is the strategy to shut down the well not working, but there is no evidence that the flow has lessened:
“I don’t think the amount of oil coming out has changed,” BP chief operating officer Doug Suttles said on Saturday. “Just by watching it, we don’t believe it’s changed.”
BP is holding a press conference this evening to discuss their next attempts to stem the flow, but what if nothing works?
According to the Christian Science Monitor, it could take up to seven years for the well to pump itself out. The scenario is increasingly dangerous for not only the health and well-being of the gulf, but the planet itself. Here’s a look at the numbers:
“At 18,000 feet into the bedrock lies the Macondo oil deposit, which, thanks to the Deepwater Horizon accident, is now spewing its crude cargo at between 14,000 and 19,000 barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico. It is Day 40 of the disaster.
“Estimated by BP to hold 50 million barrels, the seam of oil has emptied as much as 740,000 barrels (one barrel is 42 gallons), or about 1.5 percent of the total. Because of the immense pressures of the earth’s innards, geologists say, the deposit will completely unload into the Gulf unless the Deepwater Horizon well is capped.”
“With those numbers literally pressing up from the earth’s core, BP and government scientists are running out of immediate options to kill the runaway well.”
For more information on the potential impact of the spill, check out Beth Buczynski’s 10 horrifying Facts You Never Wanted to Know.
Image courtesy of Flickr user tsand.