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Gulf oil spill moving in unpredictable underwater currents

05-20-2010 11:33 BJT

BEIJING, May 20 (Xinhuanet)-- As energy giant BP races to capture more spilled oil from a ruptured well, the heavy oil is moving below the surface in underwater currents.

The leaked oil has dyed the sea water brownish red off the Louisiana coast, May 9, 2010. (photo:
The leaked oil has dyed the sea water brownish red off the Louisiana coast, May 9, 
2010. (photo:

But where and how far it spreads will depend on weather conditions, according to media reports on Thursday.

The spilled oil, continually shifting direction and speed, is just now reaching the mouth of the Mississippi River and has shown up along the shores of barrier islands.

The U.S. government's top weather forecaster said a "small portion" of light sheen from the giant oil slick has already entered the Loop Current, which could carry the oil down to the Florida Keys, to Cuba and even up the East Coast.

The latest glimpse of video footage of the oil spill indicates that around 95,000 barrels, or 4 million gallons, a day of crude oil may be spewing from the leaking wellhead, 19 times the previous estimate, an engineering professor said on Wednesday.

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