More oil leaking into Gulf of Mexico, landfall expected tomorrow

The amount of oil leaking from the destroyed Deepwater Horizon could be five time more than originally believed, and the oil sheen was found just 16 miles out of South Pass yesterday afternoon, officials are reporting.

The new estimate of as much as 210,000 gallons a day or 5,000 barrels comes after a new leak was discovered. The spill covers an area more than 100 miles long and 45 miles wide.

“We can’t tell (how much oil is leaking) from what we’re seeing on the surface,” said Doug Suttles, BP’s Exploration and Production chief executive officer. It looks like its more, so I think something between 1,000 and 5,000 barrels a day is a reasonable estimate.”

Suttles made that statement this morning (April 29) in an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Meanwhile, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials said the sheen could begin making landfall tomorrow (April 30) at the mouth of the Mississippi River and move into Breton Sound some time Saturday.

The controlled burn conducted yesterday was completed, but NOAA officials said yesterday ”the vast majority of this slick will be addressed through natural means and through use of chemical dispersants.”

NOAA reported about 1,100 people are battling the spill. As of last night, about 56,000 gallons of oil dispersant, and approximately 260,000 gallons of oily water had been collected. Nearly 50 vessels—including 16 skimming boats, four storage barges, 11 support vessels—and multiple aircraft are conducting containment and cleanup operations in the area.

A toll-free number (866.557.1401) has been established to report oiled or injured wildlife. Individuals are urged not to attempt to help injured or oiled animals, but to report any sightings to the toll-free number.

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