Exxon's got nothing on this one… Ixtoc I oil well spilled 139,832,000 – 147,840,000 gallons between 6/3/1979 and 3/23/1980… it took them almost 10 months to cap it.
The Ixtoc I oil well was a 2 mile deep exploratory drilling site. A blowout of oil and gas out of the well ignited on June 3rd, 1979 causing the platform to catch fire. After the burning platform collapsed there were great difficulties controlling the well, which continued to leak 10,000 - 30,000 barrels per day into the Gulf of Mexico until it was finally capped almost 10 months later.
The ocean currents carried much of the spill towards Texas and in total 260 kilometers (162 miles) of U.S. beaches were oiled. Marshes, mangroves and sand beaches - including some of the few remaining nesting sites for the critically endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtle - were affected.
Kristian Gustavson has left a new comment on your post "5x times the original spill estimate per day":
So @ 210,000 G/D, this has about 50 days before it is worse than the 11,000,000 G Exxon-Valdez spill, right?
The only problem is, the flow is increasing and estimates are up to 90 days before they can put a lid on this thing.
Unless the well stops flowing on its own, I'm willing to bet that this will be at least twice as bad as the Exxon-Valdez spill and either way will be catastrophic to the Gulf of Mexico! Any takers?
Posted by Kristian Gustavson to Water News Network at April 29, 2010 8:31 AM