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Gulf of Mexico

Another Oil Rig Has Exploded in the Gulf of Mexico

Potentially awful news: Another oil rig has reportedly exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, this one owned by Mariner Energy. The rig, which was about 2,500 feet deep, wasn't currently producing oil, but it isn't yet clear whether or not there's an oil leak. Fortunately, none of the rig's 13 crew members have died, though one was apparently injured. More news as it comes. Update: Bad news: A mile-long possible oil "sheen" has been spotted coming from the explosion site. Update2: Good news: "UPDATE: AP reports that the Coast Guard now says there was no oil sheen; currently no kind of leaks or spill; all workers safe & rescued." (@USABreakingNews) (CBS)

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New Satellite Picture of the Gulf Oil Disaster: It’s Even Worse Now

Way back in April, we posted some then-alarming satellite photos of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. At the time, we wrote that it was geting worse, and fast; we had no idea what was in store, though. This latest picture from the MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite paints a much grimmer picture of the devastation wrought by the oil in the two months since it started leaking. Meanwhile, in a week jammed with political posturing, BP has had little to say about actual progress in containing the spill. (Bad Astronomy via TDW)

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Sobering Video of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Leak, As Seen Underwater

To end the day on a somewhat downbeat note: In response to the mounting pressure surrounding their lack of transparency about the Deepwater Horizon oil leak, BP has released the first underwater video of oil and gas gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, 5,000 feet below the surface.

While we applaud BP for releasing the video, it highlights, in instantly graspable terms, just how bad it is down there:

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Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico May Be Five Times Worse than Thought [Satellite Pictures]

The oil spill that, for more than a week now, has been growing in the Gulf of Mexico is getting worse and five times faster than originally estimated. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is now saying, after closer investigation, that the spill that started with the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig is leaking oil at a rate of 5000 barrels per day, versus the original estimate of 1000 barrels a day. While that doesn't put the spill on the scale of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill, it has already reached and exceeded the size of Rhode Island. That's not some past oil spill that happened in Rhode Island, mind you; that's the actual U.S. state.

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