Gulf of Mexico slick could match Exxon Valdez spill in less than two months

Published:  29 April, 2010

The US Coast Guard says it has found a new leak beneath the site of last week's offshore drilling rig explosion, adding that five times as much oil was leaking as previously estimated.

If US Coast Guard estimates are correct, the slick could match the 11m gallons spilt from the Exxon Valdez within less than two months.

US Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry said the owner of the leaking well told U.S. officials of a new leak on a well 5,000 feet (1,525 metres) under the sea off Louisiana.

"BP has just briefed me of a new location of an additional breach in the riser of the deep underwater well," Landry said.

"This is not an exact science when we estimate the amount of oil. However, the NOAA is telling me now they'd prefer we use at least 5,000 barrels a day,” he added.

The leak, which has created a massive oil slick that could hit the Gulf Coast this weekend, is estimated at 5,000 barrels per day - up from the Coast Guard's previous estimate of 1,000 barrels per day.

Earlier, a coast guard crew set fire to part of the oil slick, in an attempt to save environmentally fragile wetlands.

Engineers are believed to be working on a dome-like device to cover oil rising to the surface and pump it to container vessels but it may be weeks before this is in place.

Forty-nine vessels including oil skimmers, tugboats barges and special recovery boats are  working to round up the oil, BP said.

  • Operation Florian

Sign up: eMagazine & eNewsletter

The latest issues in your inbox.

Company Profiles

Advancing rescue technology

The specialist supplier of quality PPE and Rescue Equipment to Emergency Services.

Revolutionizing fire fighting foam technology

The one-stop resource for fire fighting foam concentrates and custom-designed foam suppression systems hardware.

The ultimate in innovation, quality and service

For 60 years Lehavot has been delivering the world’s most advanced fire detection and suppression automatic systems

Trust the best, let us be your foam solution

AUXQUIMIA is a Spanish company whose main activity is the design, manufacture and commercialization of firefighting foam concentrates.

Williams Fire & Hazard Control offers a full line of specialized fire response equipment for oil and gas platforms

From storage tanks and pipeline emergencies to offshore platforms and vessels at sea, Williams' response personnel and specialized equipment quickly address adverse fire emergencies.

Foam fights fire

Europe’s foremost fire fighting foam manufacturer has been developing and producing foams since the 1920s.

Optical flame and open path gas detectors

Spectrex Inc. is a world leader in optical flame and combustible gas detection with over 30 years experience.

The leader in truck-mounted hydraulic platforms

Our mission is to provide the best and the safest solution to professionals that work at height.

The independent alternative

Dafo Fomtec AB is a privately owned company with head office in Stockholm Sweden and manufacturing in Helsingborg in the south of Sweden.

If you want quality, you want Zico

Since its inception Ziamatic Corp has provided the men and women of the fire service with products designed to make their jobs safer and easier.

Calendar