10/22/2009 - The amount of oil leaking from a wellhead in the Timor Sea could be more than five times higher than its operators estimate, the Greens say.
Oil has been leaking from the Montara wellhead, more than 200km northwest of the Kimberley coastline, since August 21.
Conservation groups have been critical of the response to the oil spill.
John Carey of Pew Environmental Group, an environmental advocacy organisation, said the spill was now Australia's third-worst oil spill, based on the Geoscience Australia data.
“The oil spill has fluctuated since it began but the revelations overnight indicate that the amount of oil polluting the sea off the Kimberley coast is likely to be almost three times more than what was previously thought,” Mr Carey said.
“Halting this spill is the first priority, the second priority is to make sure that there are safeguards put in place to protect the marine environment from future spills and create large sanctuary areas as a safe haven for marine life.”
Read the full article Spill Five Times Worse Than Feared, 2,000 Barrels a Day—Greens on The Sunday Times/PerthNow's Web site.