Stopping Gulf Oil Spill Could Take Months

Al Hine
Al Hine
ST. PETERSBURG (2010-5-10) -

Despite repeated efforts, engineers have not been able to reduce the amount of oil coming from the site of the destroyed Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. The oil is expected to continue flowing into the Gulf, possibly for several months.

More than 210,000 gallons a day continue to pour out of the site of the stricken Gulf of Mexico drilling site. The containment cap BP placed on the site of the undersea leak was plagued with ice and isn't working. Al Hine, associate dean of USF's College of Marine Science, says there's one chance to stanch the flow of oil.

"Well yes, with a relief well," he says. "Ultimately, by drilling laterally into it and pouring cement down the hole, they'll be able to stop it. But that's 60 to 90 days out."

Hines notes that a lot can change in two to three months, including a wind shift that could shoot the oil slick into the Loop Current. That could take it south around the Florida Keys and up the state's Atlantic Coast, with some oil within a stone's throw of South Florida's beaches.

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