Juan Cole @ Informed Comment - British Petroleum's attempt to plug the petroleum gusher a mile beneath the Gulf of Mexico through a "top kill," pumping mud into the oil pipeline in hopes of plugging it up, has failed, according to Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles.
The LAT quotes him as saying, chillingly, at a news conference Saturday in Robert, LA, "After three full days, we have been unable to overcome the flow from the well, so we now believe it is time to move on to another option . . . This scares everybody - the fact that we can't make this well stop flowing or the fact that we haven't succeeded so far."
Worse, the best estimates of independent scientists for the amount of petroleum being released daily is now north, possibly well north, of 25,000 barrels a day.
To put this rate in perspective, it should be noted that oil companies routinely invest substantial resources to get fields going in places such as the Philippines, Indonesia and Iraqi Kurdistan that pump 7,000 to 15,000 barrels of petroleum a day.
Every 1000 Americans consume roughly 68 barrels a day of petroleum. This statistic means that what is gushing up from the BP well equals the daily amount of oil used by 367,000 Americans per day, that is, by cities the size of St. Louis or Minneapolis. Imagine all the cars and trucks filling up in such major cities every day, and the buildings using heating oil, and imagine taking all that oil and gasoline and dumping it in the Gulf of Mexico. Every day. Read more.