Deepwater Horizon disaster: it could get much, much worse
Leaked report: Government fears Deepwater Horizon well could become unchecked gusher (Brian Raines, al.com/Mobile Press-Register)
worst-case scenario for the broken and leaking well pouring oil into the Gulf of Mexico would be the loss of the wellhead and kinked piping currently restricting the flow to 5,000 barrels — or 210,000 gallons — per day.
If the wellhead is lost, oil could leave the well at a much greater rate.
“Typically, a very good well in the Gulf can produce 30,000 barrels a day, but that’s under control. I have
no idea what an uncontrolled release could be,” said Stephen Sears, chairman of the petroleum engineering department at Louisiana State University.