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June 4th, 2010
02:38 PM ET

Oil Spill: How bad it could get

Steve Hargreaves
Senior Writer, CNNmoney.com

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/2010/06/04/news/economy/bp_spill_worst_case/oil_current.top.jpg caption="Beyond the Gulf, there is a danger the oil could get caught up in the Gulf Stream, which would send it up the eastern seaboard." width=300 height=169]

The bad news is: Things in the Gulf of Mexico could get a whole lot worse.

So far, the leaking BP well has spewed out as much as 630,000 barrels, making it the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

BP (BP) continues to try ad-hoc fixes, which have included filling the hole with bits of old tires and placing an upside down funnel over it. On Thursday night, the company said it had put a cap on the ruptured well in an attempt to channel the oil to a tanker on the surface.

While hoping for the best, most people are now planning for the worst. That means, at the earliest, waiting until August, which is when BP says a relief well should be completed.

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Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
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