The BP Gulf Oil Spill By the Numbers


Image of oil spill on June 10th via NASA

The BP Gulf spill has long been declared the greatest environmental disaster in US history. Millions of lives have been impacted, thousands of livelihoods lost, and unquantifiable damage done to wildlife and ecosystems. And while president Obama took the oval office last night to deliver a speech chock full of soaring rhetoric, many of the hard facts about the spill weren't covered. So, in the interest of setting the facts straight, here's a breakdown, by the numbers, of the BP Gulf spill so far:

58 days - The length of time oil has spewed from the Deepwater Horizon site so far, at a rate of ...

60,000 barrels -- or 2.5 million gallons -- a day.

145 million gallons - The amount of oil that has leaked from the source since the beginning of the accident.


14 - The approximate number of Exxon Valdez spills it would take to equal the BP spill.

1,000 barrels a day - BP's original estimate of the rate of oil spilling from the site.

5,000 barrels a day - The long agreed-upon estimate by both BP and the federal government.

15,000 barrels a day - The amount of oil BP now says it's siphoning from the spill's source.

250,000 barrels, or 11 million gallons a day - The size of spill that BP's response plan claimed it could effectively contain.

1.1 million gallons - The amount of toxic chemical dispersant Corexit that's been dumped into the gulf to break up the oil. BP has continued deploying this dispersant even after the EPA issued a directive demanding it to stop.


783 - Number of birds killed by the oil spill so far, according to the Fish & Wildlife Dept.

1% - Percentage of birds that survive long-term after being covered in oil, according to some studies.

353 - Endangered sea turtles killed.

41 - Dolphins and other marine mammals killed.

86 - Number of oil cleanup workers who have gotten sick, as reported by BP.

109 - Number of oil cleanup workers who have gotten sick, as reported by state records.

75,000 - Number of homes that waste as much energy every year as is contained in the entire oil spill.

$75 million - The amount that BP can currently be held legally liable for cleanup costs under the 1990 Oil Pollution Act.

$1 billion - Estimated cost of cleanup efforts alone thus far.

$20 billion - Tentative size of fund BP has agreed to create to pay entitlements to those impacted by the spill.

48% - Amount of value shares in BP stock have dropped since the beginning of the spill.

1/5 - Number of Americans who still view BP favorably.

74% - Percent of Americans who consider developing clean energy more important that offshore drilling.

65% - Percentage of Americans who think BP should face criminal charges.

Sources: ProPublica, Fish & Wildlife Department, New York Times, Energy Savvy

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