Well, it just keeps getting worse. Around two months ago, after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig sank, BP estimated that some 1,000 barrels of oil were leaking into the Gulf each day. That number was soon revised to 5,000 barrels and later to around 12,000. Then, just last week, those grim figures were raised again, putting the estimates at between 30,000 and 65,000 barrels of oil leaking each day. Now, according to a recently disclosed internal document from BP, that number could have been as high as 100,000 barrels of oil, daily--a fact BP decided to keep secret.
Andrew Revkin tempers that top estimate:
The calculation was for the highest possible theoretical flow if all of the engineered components containing the pressurized oil and gas were to fail. There’s no reason to think this is the flow at this point, but the disconnect between public statements and internal assessments is striking.
(Image: Oil lays down the marsh grass in Bay Jimmy June 19, 2010 near Port Sulpher, Louisiana. By Sean Gardner/Getty Images)