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Oil from spill could have powered 38,000 cars (and more) for a year, UD researcher says
Date:6/9/2010

As of today (Wednesday, June 9), if all the oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico had been used for fuel, it could have powered 38,000 cars, and 3,400 trucks, and 1,800 ships for a full year, according to University of Delaware Prof. James J. Corbett. That's based on the estimated spill rate of 19,000 barrels of oil per day.

Corbett, a professor of marine policy in UD's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, works on energy and environmental solutions for transportation. He has launched a website that reports the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in terms of lost uses of the lost fuel on a daily basis: http://www.ceoe.udel.edu/getinvolved/oilSpill.aspx.

Visitors to the website can choose the spill rate they believe is most accurate from a range of reported estimates, and the website will automatically calculate how many cars, trucks, and ships could have been powered for a year, based on Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Here are just a few of Corbett's findings:

  • By May 5 (15 days after the spill), the oil lost could have fueled 470 container ships serving New York and New Jersey ports for a year.
  • By May 25 (35 days after the spill), energy from the spilled oil could have provided a year's gasoline for all registered automobiles (about 26,000 cars) in Newark, Del., where UD's main campus is located.
  • By May 31 (41 days after the spill), the lost energy could have fueled one freight truck on 17 trips across all 4 million miles of U.S. highway.

Corbett says he developed the website to help put the oil spill in a perspective to which everyday users of petroleum, including most Americans, can relate.

Transportation activities consume about two-thirds of all petroleum in the United States -- more than 20 billion barrels per day, according to Corbett. Gasoline for automobiles accounts f
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Contact: Tracey Bryant
tbryant@udel.edu
302-831-8185
University of Delaware
Source:Eurekalert  

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Oil from spill could have powered 38,000 cars (and more) for a year, UD researcher says
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