SkyTruth Puts Shell Spill at 2.4 Million Gallons

by Matt Ball on December 26, 2011

Royal Dutch Shell have indicated that the oil leak at their Bonga offshore site in Nigeria is less than 40,000 barrels; a number that is disputed by the nonprofit environmental satellite monitoring group SkyTruth that puts the spill at 2.4 million gallons. SkyTruth arrived at their calculation based on the size of the oil slick as seen in Envisat ASAR radar imagery above. The group has also accessed imagery from the MODIS/Terra satellite to corroborate the size of the slick.

The satellite imagery watchdog group has been active in assessing and spreading news of other spills globally since the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf Coast in 2010. The use of freely available satellite imagery from scientific sensors gives the group the means to uncover the truth in far reaches of the world where reporting is often controlled by commercial interests and corruption. This latest report is gaining widespread media attention due largely to the discrepency between the estimates.

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