Deepwater disaster: how the oil spill estimates got it wrong


  • He specialises in using imaging and geographic information system techniques to investigate the ecology of deep-sea hydrocarbon seeps, primarily in the Gulf of Mexico.


“There is no crude emanating from that riser.” Then the official estimate was 1000 barrels a day, then 5000. The true figure was 58 000 barrels of oil a day leaking into the Gulf of Mexico. Why did the authorities so consistently underestimate the flow from the Deepwater disaster, and what damage did those underestimates do?Ian MacDonald reveals the smoking gun behind BP's erroneous statistics.