That was the startling number tossed around late Friday by experts, after listening to Tony Hayward’s congressional testimony about the size of the Gulf well. (via The Guardian)
Hayward told Congress on Thursday that the oil reservoir some 5,000 feet below the Gulf surface still holds roughly 50 million barrels – meaning that if the relief wells now being dug don’t fix the problem, there is enough oil to ensure that the leak would keep spewing for more than two years, at current flow rates. (Check out our photos of the world’s biggest oil spills)
It was one of the few specific numbers provided by Hayward in his official testimony last week, and it was a sobering realization for experts, to begin to comprehend the magnitude of the crisis, if all possible fixes fail.
“If it went uncontrolled it could certainly leak for two years and certainly longer than that,” Philip Johnson, a professor of petroleum engineering at the University of Alabama told the Guardian.
Check out the YouTube videos being created by Gulf residents, in response to the oil spill.