British Petroleum (BP) oil spill spreading through Gulf of Mexico

It seems that an explosion on the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon that was previously thought to be leaking oil at around 1,000 gallons a day is actually closer to 5,000 gallons a day. Apparently there was a rather large and complex safety mechanism that should have shut down the oil leak but it failed and is now resting on the bottom of the ocean floor. It’s unknown at this time what the cause of the explosion was or if the safety shut off could have been damaged by it which caused the failure.

What is known is that the oil slick should reach the Gulf of Mexico shore within a few hours. The clean up effort is costing BP and partners around $6 million a day due to laws passed after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 which requires oil companies to cover all expenses related to clean ups. It’s estimated that the clean up could take 3 months or even longer bringing the cost of the clean up to over $270 million. The amount of oil being leaked into the ocean will exceed that of the Exxon Valdez spill by mid June at the current rate.

British Petroleum (BP) is down almost 9% as of this moment and could continue to plummet depending on how clean up operations progress and what an investigation of the cause of the explosion reveals.

In addition to the financial toll there is also the 11 workers who have been missing since the explosion. All hopes of finding them alive are slipping away as the oil rig crumbles into the ocean. There will undoubtedly be a large environmental toll taken on the ocean life and ecosystem as well. I have to wonder what the effects of this will be on the US and world population that is already struggling with the debate about climate change and renewable energies.

Just a short while ago President Obama mobilized federal resources including the Department of Homeland Security, Environment Protection Agency, and others to oversee clean up operations and investigate the cause of the explosion.

There has been an incredible amount of public backlash about this oil spill and an already despised oil industry is dealt another blow to their public image. One thing is certain and that is that this event has brought renewable and alternative energy as well as clean and green energy to the forefront of public thought again.



  1. jordan says:

    you say 5000 gallons (20,000 litres)… it is actually 5000 barrels, (750,000 litres) a day.

  2. admin says:

    The 5,000 gallon figure I used was from a BBC article but at the time I was seeing a lot of variety in estimates. I chose this one because I saw it quoted most often by the larger news agencies.

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