Since the US Congress and the Florida Legislature are debating the merits of allowing drilling for oil and gas much closer to Florida’s coast, we thought it would be interesting to illustrate what could happen if a Montara-style blowout occurred in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. We outlined the area in the Timor Sea where slicks and sheen were detected across 2,500 square miles on a satellite image, and overlaid that area along the Florida coast. One illustration shows the slicks originating from a point about 50 miles off Pensacola, in the vicinity of the Destin Dome drilling prospect. The other shows slicks resulting from a hypothetical blowout 80 miles offshore from Tampa Bay:
These are just illustrations, not quantitative models, and they don’t take into account local currents or wind. But they are based on the ongoing reality of the Montara blowout and spill.