The “Deep Water Horizon” Mobil Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) is one of several classes of floatable drilling machines. As a consequence of the accident on April 20, 2010, the worst ecological disaster with regard to oil spills in the US history was generated in the Gulf of Mexico, causing extensive damage to marine and wildlife habitats, as well as the Gulf’s fishing and tourism industries. Since that moment, experts are trying to estimate the total amount of oil being lost into the sea. The objective of this presentation is to report a procedure developed in the first author’s thesis1 an independent and logical estimate of the oil flow rate into the Gulf of Mexico produced by the rupture in this rig. There are a number of possible approaches to estimate the flow rate of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico. The Plume Modeling Team has developed an approach by observing video image of the oil/gas mixture escaping from the kinks in the riser and the end of the riser pipe. The Mass Balance Team has developed a range of values using USGS (US Geological Survey) and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) data analysis collected from NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Airborne Visible InfraRed Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS). Finally, a reality-check estimate was based on the amount of oil collected by the Riser Insertion Tube Tool (RITT) plus the estimate of how much oil is escaping from the RITT, and from the kink in the riser. However, there are several limitations in each of these techniques.

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