They are basically the same, except that in volume natural seeps are for the most part considerably smaller than this year’s problem well in the Gulf, but larger than the great majority of most spills from vessels and leaks from wells. In the cited reference, 20 to 25 tons leaking naturally every day in the Santa Barbara channel is not much – a ton of oil is about 7 barrels, so that seep amounts to less than 200 barrels a day. Noteworthy, but it goes on continually and nature handles most of it pretty well.
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