oilleakI have been watching with trepidation reports about efforts to cap the leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. This counter from PBS Newshour shows just how quickly this oil spill is growing.

Here’s what reporter Chris Amico had to say:

Nobody knows for certain how much oil has leaked into the Gulf of Mexico since last month’s oil rig explosion. What we do have are estimates — from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, from outside experts, from British Petroleum — of how fast crude is flowing out of two remaining leaks (a third was plugged Wednesday).


Oil has been flowing out of ruptures in the Deepwater Horizon well on the ocean floor since around 10 a.m. on April 22, two days after the BP-leased rig exploded, leaving 11 workers missing and presumed dead.

According to NOAA, an estimated 210,000 gallons (5,000 barrels) a day is coming from the remaining ruptures. At that rate, this leak would surpass the 11 million gallons spilled by the Exxon Valdez in 1989 in mid-June if left unchecked.

An addendum: It looks now as though the estimates may be low. Check out this depressing video feed of the oil spewing forth.