With NOAA acknowledging that oil may have entered the Loop Current that will carry it south and east toward Florida and the number of sea-turtle beachings soaring, some 45,000 square miles of the Gulf have now been closed to fishing.
But don’t worry folks: BP has got this handled.
“In its 2009 exploration plan for the Deepwater Horizon well, BP PLC states that the company could handle a spill involving as much as 12.6 million gallons of oil per day, a number 60 times higher than its current estimate of the ongoing Gulf disaster.
In associated documents filed with the U.S. Minerals Management Service, the company says that it would be able to skim 17.6 million gallons of oil a day from the Gulf in the event of a spill.
As of Tuesday, BP reported recovering 6 million gallons of oily water since the ongoing spill began four weeks ago. BP spokesman Tom Mueller said that only about 10 percent of the skimmed liquid was oil, which would amount to about 600,000 gallons of oil collected thus far.
Mueller also said via e-mail Tuesday that “the spill has stayed about the same size or even shrunk on the water as a result of our response efforts.”
Skytruth.org, a website that monitors environmental problems using satellite imagery, reported Monday that the spill had grown to 10,170 square miles, based on NASA images. John Amos, head of Skytruth, told the Press-Register then that the spill had approximately doubled in size since Friday.
BP did not respond to questions about the NASA images.”