Sunday, May 02, 2010

Spill could amount to Valdez-sized spill every two days, and the situation could last for months

SHOOT: This could spell the end to the idea that is deep ocean drilling, and the viability of deep wells versus the risk of eruption [that cannot be easily or chjeaply contained]. What that means then is the sidelining of a substantial fraction of supply and immediate increases in oil prices.
clipped from
Shrimper Jimmy Rowell discusses the approaching oil spill at the boat harbor in Pass Christian, Miss., Saturday, May 1, 2010. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

The slick nearly tripled in just a day or so, growing from a spill the size of Rhode Island to something closer to the size of Puerto Rico, according to images collected from mostly European satellites and analyzed by the University of Miami.

On Thursday, the size of the slick was about 1,150 square miles, but by Friday's end it was in the range of 3,850 square miles, said Hans Graber, executive director of the university's Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing. That suggests the oil has started spilling from the well more quickly, Graber said.

"The spill and the spreading is getting so much faster and expanding much quicker than they estimated," Graber told The Associated Press on Saturday.

Ian R. MacDonald, an oceanography professor at Florida State University, said his examination of Coast Guard charts and satellite images indicated that 8 million to 9 million gallons had already spilled by April 28.

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