If BP Plans Fail, Oil Spill Could Worsen Eight-Fold

Executives estimate 40K barrels a day would gush into Gulf
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2010 6:20 PM CDT
An oil boom is seen as brown pelicans, terns and seagulls nest on Breton Island off the coast of Louisiana Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – We know about 5,000 barrels of oil are gushing into the Gulf of Mexico every day because of the BP disaster. (See a nifty animated graphic charting the spill and projecting its course here from the Times-Picayune.) So what happens if the company's schemes to stem the flow—including construction of a massive underwater containment dome—don't work? Figure about 40,000 barrels gushing into the water every day, reports the Washington Post.

That estimate came from representatives of the three companies involved in the spill—BP, Halliburton, and Transocean—who were questioned by lawmakers on Capitol Hill today. Asked about another hot topic, the possibility that the oil will get caught up in the so-called loop current and head up the Atlantic coast, the oil execs had no analysis of the possibility.

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