August 4, 2010
NOAA and Interior Dept jointly developed an “Oil Budget Calculator” to provide measurements and “best estimates” of what happened to the spilled oil. Calculator based on the Flow Rate Technical Group’s Monday estimate of 4.9M total brls oil released into Gulf.
Where is the oil?
Allegedly 74% of the 4.9M brls is gone
But the 26% that remains = 1.274M brls
Which is 1.7 times the Exxon Valdez (750K brls)
[math challenged - may want to double check]
And how precise are their measurements?
Only 22% measured directly: burns, siphoning
Daily estimates: skimming
Rest of the numbers based on “best available information and a broad range of scientific expertise”.
OF THE 4.9M BARRELS OF OIL RELEASED
26% Residual (below the surface, in slick, on shore, in tarballs or buried in sand and sediments)
25% Evaporated or dissolved (1.2M brls)
*17% Siphoned directly from wellhead (827K brls – measured)
16% Naturally dispersed into microscopic droplets (remain below the surface)
*8% Chemically dispersed (surface/subsea)
*Unified Command recovery operations is taken credit for “capturing or mitigating” 33% of the total oil released by burning, skimming, chemical dispersion and direct recovery from the wellhead.
What is left out of this self-congratulation: the toxic effects of massive dispersant use (especially subsea) and the effect of methane gas on the development of dead zones. And then there’s the fact that many wildlife were not birthed in their natural habitat – most especially the sea turtles.
And the minor fact that this is the worst oil spill in history by far.