Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 43

I posted about this on...hmmm...Day 31, and even though we look as if we're only on Day 43 now, you and I both know that my Year of Self Improvement is simply not going to take place over a consecutive 365 day period, I worked that out in the early days. 

But incredibly, the Deepwater Horizon Oilspill is now 52 days old, and I just wanted you all to know (as I'm sure you already are aware), that it's not sorted, nor is likely to be for a while yet. 

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill, is a massive ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, now considered the largest offshore spill in U.S. history.  Some estimates placed it as among the largest oil spills in the world.   The spill stems from a sea floor oil gusher that followed the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion. The explosion killed 11 platform workers and injured 17 others

Oil is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico at an estimated rate of  12,000 to 100,000 barrels (or 1,900,000 to 16,000,000 litres) per day where it originates from a deepwater wellhead 1.5km below the ocean surface.  The exact spill flow rate is uncertain – in part because BP has refused to allow independent scientists to perform accurate measurements – and is a matter of ongoing debateThe resulting oil slick covers a surface area of at least 6,500 km2, with the exact size and location of the slick fluctuating from day to day depending on weather conditions. Scientists have also reported immense underwater plumes of oil not visible at the surface.

Experts fear that the spill will result in an environmental disaster, with extensive impact already on marine and wildlife habitats.  The spill has also damaged the Gulf of Mexico fishing and tourism industries.

There have been a variety of ongoing efforts to stem the flow of oil at the wellhead. Crews have been working to protect hundreds of miles of beaches, wetlands and estuaries along the northern Gulf coast, using skimmer ships, floating containment booms, anchored barriers, and sand-filled barricades along shorelines. The U.S. Government has named BP as the responsible party in the incident, and officials have said the company will be held accountable for all cleanup costs resulting from the oil spill.  You wouldn't want to have shares in BP now would you!

The photo above shows the oil slick as seen from space by NASA's Terra satellite on May 24, 2010. 


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