A new oil leak was discovered at the site in the Gulf of Mexico where a drilling rig exploded and sank. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) experts now estimate that 5,000 barrels a day of oil are spilling into the gulf. The Deepwater Horizon rig was reportedly not equipped with a shutoff switch that could have been used to try to close the well. Such switches are not required in the United States, but are used in other countries such as Norway and Brazil. Since the explosion, 42,000 gallons of oil a day was leaking into the Gulf, however new estimates would be closer to 210,000 gallons a day from the blown-out well drilled by the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.
The cost of the disaster continues to rise and could easily top $1 billion. Industry officials say replacing the Deepwater Horizon, owned by Transocean Ltd. and operated by BP, would cost up to $700 million. BP has said its costs for containing the spill are running at $6 million a day. The company said it will spend $100 million to drill the relief well. The Coast Guard has not yet reported its expenses.