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Day 57: Updated figures show oil from spill could have powered 68,000 cars for year

By day 57 (June 15), if all the oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico had been used for fuel, it could have powered 68,000 cars, and 6,100 trucks, and 3,100 ships for a full year, according to University of Delaware Prof. James J. Corbett, who updates the numbers daily on his website.

That's based on the average estimated spill rate of 30,000 barrels of oil per day. On June 10, the science team analyzing the spill updated their estimates to range between 20,000 and 40,000 barrels per day, nearly double their original estimated flow rate. Corbett now includes calculations based on the new average on his website at UD.

Visitors to the website can choose the spill rate they believe is most accurate from a range of reported estimates, and the website will automatically calculate how many cars, trucks, and ships could have been powered for a year, based on Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The website also provides information on how to reduce risks of future oil spills.

Corbett, a professor of marine policy in UD's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, works on energy and environmental solutions for transportation.

For the original story posted on day 40 of the spill, see the UDaily webpage. It includes a link to a YouTube video of Corbett.

Tracey Bryant | EurekAlert!
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