New Gulf Oil Leak Estimates Dwarf Original Figures


  • Randy Showstack


New estimates of the amount of oil flowing from BP's leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico are dramatically higher than initial numbers, according to figures released by U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and U.S. Geological Survey Director Marcia McNutt on 15 June. “The most likely flow rate of oil today is between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels per day,” based on estimates by U.S. government and independent scientists, they indicated.

“This estimate brings together several scientific methodologies and the latest information from the seafloor and represents a significant step forward in our effort to put a number on the oil that is escaping from BP's well,” Chu indicated. He noted the numbers could change with the collection of additional data, and he added that the administration has been focusing on responding to the upper end of the flow estimate.