The worst-case scenario for the broken and leaking well gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico would be the loss of the wellhead currently restricting the flow to 5,000 barrels -- or 210,000 gallons per day.
If the wellhead is lost, oil could leave the well at a much greater rate, perhaps up to 150,000 barrels -- or more than 6 million gallons per day -- based on government data showing daily production at another deepwater Gulf well.
By comparison, the Exxon Valdez spill was 11 million gallons total. The Gulf spill could end up dumping the equivalent of 4 Exxon Valdez spills per week.
My god. This is beyond awful.