THE BP/GULF OF MEXICO OIL DISASTER

This page has now been frozen (4th June), as BP have managed to cap the Gulf of Mexico oil leak, and to siphon off more than half of the oil emerging from it. But although BP say the cap is collecting 15,000 barrels a day, they are now admitting that the outflow from the leak may be 19,000 barrels a day, whereas their original estimate was only 5,000. 1 barrel = approximately 35 UK gallons; so since 20th April 2010, when a BP oil rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 people, 4,000 - 5,000 barrels per day (140,000 - 175,000 gallons) have leaked into the Gulf of Mexico waters.

Oil spillage map, May 30th, 2010

It now seems likely that the leak cannot be completely fixed until a relief well can be drilled - August 2010 at the earliest.

Oil spill from the air, May 2010

For some wildlife species, the Gulf of Mexico and its coastal wetlands are now a last refuge. Manatees and Atlantic bluefin tuna may be pushed to the edge of extinction by the disaster.

Manatees

If you want to help, make a donation to Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth or the World Wildlife Fund.

Edward Picot, May 2010