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Five days ago, in the northeastern port city of Dalian, China, two oil pipelines exploded, sending flames hundreds of feet into the air and burning for over 15 hours, destroying several structures - the cause of the explosion is under investigation. The damaged pipes released thousands of gallons of oil, which flowed into the nearby harbor and the Yellow Sea. The total amount of oil spilled is still not clear, though China Central Television earlier reported an estimate of 1,500 tons (400,000 gallons), as compared to the estimated 94 - 184 million gallons in the BP oil spill off the Louisiana coast. The oil slick has now grown to at least 430 square kilometers (165 sq mi), forcing beaches and port facilities to close while government workers and local fishermen work to contain and clean up the spill. Firefighters walk near an oil pipeline blast site in Dalian, Liaoning province, China early on July 17, 2010. Firefighters later extinguished the fire that raged for more than 15 hours after two oil pipelines exploded in the port of Dalian, the Xinhua news agency said. Two workers try to rescue their co-worker (left) from drowning in the oil slick while he was attempting to fix an underwater pump during the oil spill clean-up operations at Dalian's Port on July 20, 2010. Oil coats a boat rope on July 18, 2010 after a huge spill following the fire at the port in Dalian, China.

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view Oil spill in Dalian, China as presented by: Boston Big Picture


BP said Thursday it plans to boost its ability to capture the oil gushing from a ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico by early next week as the Obama administration announced that the oil giant agreed to speed up payments to people whose livelihoods have been washed away by the spill. At the bottom of the sea, the containment cap on the leaking well is capturing 630,000 gallons a day and pumping it to a ship at the surface, and the amount could nearly double by next week to roughly 1.17 million gallons, the Coast Guard has said. The government has estimated 600,000 to 1.2 million gallons are leaking per day, but a scientist on a task force studying the flow said the actual rate may be between 798,000 gallons and 1.8 million. A second vessel expected to arrive within days should greatly increased capacity. BP also plans to bring in a tanker from the North Sea to help transport oil and an incinerator to burn off some of the crude. Workers use a suction hose to remove oil washed ashore from the Deepwater Horizon spill. Marine reef ecologist Scott Porter works to remove oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill off his hands, Monday, June 7, 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico. In this Monday, June 7, 2010 photo, APTN photographer Rich Matthews takes a closer look at oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill, in the Gulf of Mexico south of Venice, La.

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view More images from the oil spill as presented by: Sacramento Bee


A cap collected some of the oil spewing out of the blown-out Gulf well, but black crude was still leaking into the sea, and officials said they wonít know until later Friday how the device is working. Itís the latest bid to contain Ė not plug Ė the nationís worst spill. Even if the cap is successful, it will not collect all the oil coming out. Stopping the leak is still months away. Meanwhile, waves of gooey tar blobs were washing ashore on the white sand of the Florida Panhandle and nearby Alabama beaches as a slick from the spill moved closer to shore. Spotters who had been seeing a few tar balls in recent days found a substantially larger number before dawn on the beaches of the Gulf Islands National Seashore and nearby areas, a county emergency official said. The park is a long string of connected barrier islands near Pensacola. Oil drips from a glove dipped into the water during a tour by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal of an area impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill at Pass a Loutre, La. Wednesday, June 2, 2010. A brown pelican coated in heavy oil wallows in the surf June 4, 2010 on East Grand Terre Island, Louisiana. Oil from the Deepwater Horizon incident is coming ashore in large volumes across southern Louisiana coastal areas. A brown pelican coated in heavy oil tries to take flight June 4, 2010 on East Grand Terre Island, Louisiana. Oil from the Deepwater Horizon incident is coming ashore in large volumes across southern Louisiana coastal areas.

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view Gulf Oil Continues to Spill, Wildlife Suffers as presented by: Denver Post


An untested procedure to plug the blown-out oil well in the Gulf of Mexico seemed to be working, officials said Thursday, but new estimates from scientists showed the spill has already surpassed the Exxon Valdez as the worst in U.S. history. A team of scientists trying to determine how much oil has been flowing since the offshore rig Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20 and sank two days later found the rate was more than twice and possibly up to five times as high as previously thought. The fallout from the spill has stretched all the way to Washington, where the head of the federal agency that oversees offshore drilling resigned under pressure Thursday. Even using the most conservative estimate, the new numbers mean the leak has grown to nearly 19 million gallons over the past five weeks, surpassing the size of the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska, which at about 11 million gallons had been the nation's worst spill. Under the highest Gulf spill estimate, nearly 39 million gallons may have leaked, enough to fill 30 school gymnasiums. A researcher surveys oil floating on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of La., Wednesday, May 26, 2010. Reporter Anderson Cooper is reflected in oil filled water during a tour of areas where oil has come ashore May 26, 2010 in Blind Bay, La. BP crews clean oil off of the beach at Port Fourchon, Louisiana, Monday, May 24, 2010. Oil was first spotted here on Wednesday, May 12.

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view Gulf oil spill worst in U.S. history as presented by: Sacramento Bee


U.S. Coast Guard members carry away a dead brown pelican found on Breton Island by a game warden with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who said that the bird had oil on its wings. The dead pelican was turned over the the U.S. Coast Guard as evidence. Breton Island is a part of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge. Some 40,000 birds are on Breton Island during nesting season. Layers of protective booms, both offshore and on, have been placed to protect the birds. Greenpeace senior campaigner Lindsey Allen takes water samples along a 20-yard area of marsh where oil is thick in concentration near the south pass of the Mississippi River. Fisherman Mike LeBlanc surveys the oil spill half a mile from the Chandeleur Islands off Louisiana, where the slick had reached landfall. He said eight charter fishing groups had canceled their trips, but he says he understands. "I wouldn't want to come down here with this oil either."

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view Massive Oil Spill Spreads In Gulf Of Mexico as presented by: Los Angeles Times


Late on the night of April 20th, 50 miles from the shore of Louisiana, a fire broke out aboard the Transocean Deepwater Horizon oil rig under lease by BP, with 126 individuals on board. After a massive explosion, all but 11 of the crew managed to escape as the rig was consumed by fire, later collapsing and sinking into the Gulf. Safeguards set in place to automatically cap the oil well in case of catastrophe did not work as expected, and now an estimated 5,000 barrels (over 200,000 gallons) of crude oil is pouring into the Gulf of Mexico every day - and could possibly continue to do so for months as complicated efforts are made to stop the leak. Collected here are several recent photos of the developing situation along Louisiana's Gulf Shore - one with the potential to eclipse the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in scope and damage. Firefighting boats spray seawater onto the burning Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 21, 2010. The oil platform burned for 36 hours after a massive explosion, then later sank into the Gulf of Mexico. A Louisiana Heron rests in the fragile wetlands near the town of Venice, in the path of the oil spill that is creeping towards the coast of Louisiana. Workers move containment booms to a smaller vessel on the Mississippi River at Port Eads, Louisiana on Thursday, April 29, 2010. A huge effort is underway to help mitigate the effects of an oil spill caused by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig.

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view Oil Spill Approaches Louisiana coast as presented by: Boston Big Picture



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