There’s plenty of info out there about the oil leak. The difficult part is separating it out into “fact” and “fiction” categories. Here’s my best crack at the “fact” category after sifting through numerous news sites and organizations affiliated with the effort. There seem to be three seafloor-level leaks in the pipeline that BP is preparing to mitigate via capping them with 125,000 gallon capacity metal boxes. These boxes should be en route to the leak site and should be in place by early next week. “Should” is a funny word. I’m hoping all goes well. Pipes will be attached to said boxes (I’m not sure if this will happen above or below the surface) and the oil will be piped up to an awaiting tanker on the surface. Once the tanker is flush with crude it will ferry the oil ashore so it can continue on its intended petro-commerce course. Now, the other shoe. BP spokesperson Elizabeth Ashford told reporters that this fix is a way, they expect, to collect about 85% of the oil coming out of the main leak site.
Leakage-per-day figures are still a sticking point in this equation. BP is now claiming 42,000 gallons per day and NOAA is sticking with their 210,000 gallons per rotation around the sun estimate. Let us do the math here. Going by BP’s numbers, there are somewhere around 588,000 gallons of crude already loose in the Gulf and 6,300 gallons that have snuck past the metal boxes every time the sun comes up. NOAA is telling us that there may be 2,940,000 gallons (yup, nearly three million) on the loose and 31,500 gallons freewheeling every day. These numbers are post-fix… I’m attempting to maintain a wildlife-care-update emphasis on this blog so I’ll refrain from the impending soapbox here. I’m sure you can fill in the blanks. We’re all standing by to hear about BP’s long-term fix plan.
The good news is that the Pentagon has agreed to send more than 17,000 National Guard troops to aid in the clean up effort!