Sunday, May 02, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill - By the Numbers & InfoGraphics

Gulf Oil Spill - By the Numbers

In order to give you a better sense of just how big the unfolding tragedy in the Gulf is, we dug out some surprising statistics:

11: Number of workers missing and presumed dead following the BP rig explosion. (Source: Huffington Post)

5,000 barrels a day: Rate at which oil is leaking from the Deepwater Horizon rig -- five times faster than was originally estimated. (Source: New York Times)

$300 million: Estimated cost to BP to plug up the leaking oil spill, not including environmental clean-up costs. (Source: New York Times)

$25 billion: Loss of market value to BP stock since last week's rig explosion. (Source: Huffington Post).

16: Miles off the coast of Louisiana the oil slick has crept. (Source: New York Times)

At least 30: Species of birds the Audubon Society says are potentially threatened by the oil spill. These include marsh birds, ocean-dwelling birds and migratory songbirds. All reside in "Important Bird Areas," according to Audubon, designated because of their "essential habitat value." Among the most vulnerable species is the brown pelican -- the state bird of Louisiana -- which was only recently removed from the endangered species list. The spill is especially devastating for bird populations because it coincides with the beginning of breeding season. (Source: Audubon Society)

25 million: Number of birds that traverse the Gulf Coast per day, and which are potentially at risk from the oil spill. According to the LA Times Greenspace Blog, "Late spring is the peak time for neo-tropical songbirds moving from the Yucatan Peninsula to make their first landfall in Louisiana," and "more than 70% of the country's waterfowl frequent the gulf's waters." (Source: LA Times Greenspace Blog)

11 million: Number of gallons of oil leaked into Alaska's Prince William Sound in 1989 by the Exxon Valdez oil leak. It is widely considered the worst oil spill in U.S. history, although a number of larger spills have happened around the world, including the 2002 Prestige spill off Spain. (Source: CBS News)

400: Number of wildlife species threatened by the spill. Threatened species include sea life such as whales, tuna and shrimp; dozens of species of birds; land animals such as the gray fox and white-tailed deer; and amphibians such as the alligator and the snapping turtle. (Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune)

600 square miles: Latest reported size of the oil slick. In response to reports of the blooming size of the spill, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency, anticipating that it would reach Louisiana's shores soon. (Source: CNN)

$1.5 billion: Amount in insurance claims experts believe the BP spill will cost insurers. (Source: Business Week)


Timeline of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

April 20:
 The MODU Deepwater Horizon deep-water oil drilling rig explodes and catches fire in the Gulf of Mexico at about 10 p.m. 126 people were on board, 11 go missing and at least 15 are injured. read
April 21: The U.S. Coast Guard holds a news conference to discuss the explosion and those missing. "We have no idea where the 11 unaccounted-for personnel are," said Mary Landry, commander of the Coast Guard's 8th district headquarters. read
April 22: About 100 survivors from the explosion arrive on shore. The 11 workers unaccounted for are still missing. read

Deepwater Horizon sinks into the Gulf of Mexico. read

April 23: The U.S. Coast Guard says no oil is leaking from the undersea well at the Deepwater Horizon site. read

The U.S. Coast Guard suspends the search for the 11 missing workers. read

April 24: Contrary to what the U.S. Coast Guard said the previous day, oil is leaking from the undersea well at the Deepwater Horizon site at a rate of about 1,000 barrels per day, or 42,000 gallons. read
April 25: Robot subs are used to try to stop the leak, which continues at a rate of about 42,000 gallons per day. read
April 28: Crews begin controlled burn of oil. This method is used to limit the amount of oil that could wash ashore. read

The NOAA announces that five times as much oil (210,000 gallons) is spewing in the Gulf of Mexico than originally thought. A new leak is discovered, as well, bringing the total to three. read

April 29: An oil spill protection meeting draws nearly 200 fishers to Chalmette. read

Governor Bobby Jindal issues emergency declaration in oil leak in Gulf of Mexico. read

April 30: The Louisiana National Guard prepares to send communication equipment, boats, all-terrain vehicles and other equipment to help combat the oil spill. read

First bird covered in oil is caught and cared for. read

May 1: St. Bernard Parish fishers begin training to assist in fight against Gulf of Mexico oil spill. read

Booms readied near Chef Menteur, Ft. Pike, to protect Lake Pontchartrain from Gulf of Mexico oil spill. read

The Obama administration names Adm. Thad Allen, the retiring U.S. Coast Guard commandant who directed recovery operations during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, to direct Gulf of Mexico oil spill response. read

No signs of oil at mouth of Mississippi River or Gulf Outlet yet as strong winds stall work deploying booms. read

May 2: President Barack Obama travels to Gulf for oil spill update. read

Oil rig explosion and spill in Gulf of Mexico was because of failed equipment, according to BP Chairman Lamar McKay. read

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