January 1, 2012

Shell Oil spill may be in Exxon Valdez category

Satellite images of Nigeria's coastline show the new Shell oil spill covering a 356-square-mile patch of ocean.
The spill looks like it might be in the Exxon Valdez ballpark, underscoring the risks of a new deepwater oil-gathering technique that's coming soon to the Gulf of Mexico.
"The significance here is the technology they're using," said John Amos of the environmental watchdog group Skytruth. "It's a whole new source of potentially major oil spills."
The spill occurred Dec. 20 at Shell's Bonga deepwater facility, prompting an immediate temporary closure of the oil field. Shell estimated that up to 40,000 barrels of oil — about 7 million gallons, compared to 11 million gallons for the Exxon Valdez — leaked.

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