Detailed simulations of the Gulf of Mexico oil leak show that crude is likely to start spreading into the Atlantic Ocean soon. Once oil becomes caught in the Gulf of Mexico’s fast moving Loop Current, it could be carried thousands of miles, around Florida, up the Atlantic coast of the US, and then out into the open ocean.
The cost of cleaning up the oil spillage in the Gulf of Mexico now runs into billions of dollars, according to BP estimates.
The company has tried a number of methods to shut down the leak from the damaged oil well – often innovating as subsequent attempts have failed.
Although some of the methods have been tried and tested at incidents elsewhere in the world, they have not been carried out at such great depth as the Deepwater Horizon leak – 5,000 feet (1.5km) below the surface, see stopping the oil and interactive guide