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90,000 barrels is roughly one third of the Exxon Valdez

Written by Sherwin, published on June 21, 2010

If the rate of flow in the gulf of Mexico is 90,000 barrels a day, then we’ve had ourselves an Exxon Valdez every three days. Recent estimates, put the rate of flow between 50,000 and 150,000 barrels a day (BPD). In EVUs (Exxon Valdez Units), this is between .2 and .6 EVUs per day. That puts the carnage at between an Exxon Valdez every five days, or an Exxon Valdez every two days (even less). Over 60 days, that’s between 12 EVUs and 36 EVUs. 1

  1. Of course, BP’s liability is directly proportional to the amount of oil that has polluted the Gulf. This explains why they are on record for trying to claim that the the rate of flow was only 1000 BPD. Over 60 days, this is only .2 EVUs in total.
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  1. sherwin says:

    Yup. The EVU helps me a little to understand the scale of the numbers. It’s also misleading though, because of course it’s just a quantity of oil. It doesn’t really take into consideration the relative impacts of the oil on those two very different ecosystems. My understanding is that the Gulf of Mexico is a much more interdependent and sensitive system and the relative impact of every litre of oil there will be much higher.

  2. The EVU. My worst fear is that this somehow does become the standard to measure the scale of the gulf disaster. Its a very concrete depiction. thanks Sherwin