Facing South reports on the Gulf of Petroleum:
SkyTruth, a West Virginia-based nonprofit, analyzed recent satellite imagery of the spill that was first reported on March 18. Assuming the thickness of the 2,427 square-kilometer slick was only 1 micron or one-millionth of a meter, the organization concludes the slick held at least 640,728 gallons of oil.
“That would make it a major spill (more than 100,000 gallons), and a heckuva lot more than the 4 gallons in total that was reported to the National Response Center,” SkyTruth states on its blog.
Following last April’s explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, BP and the U.S. government claimed the well was leaking about 1,000 barrels of oil a day. But SkyTruth’s analysis of satellite imagery concluded the flow rate had to be at least 5,000 barrels a day and probably far more, leading the government to revise its own estimate upward.