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22 May 2010
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana -- BP conceded Thursday that more oil than it estimated is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico as heavy crude washed over Louisiana’s dykes for the first time, feeding worries and uncertainty about the massive month long spill.
Mark Proegler, a spokesman for oil giant BP Plc, told The Associated Press that a mile-long tube inserted into a leaking pipe over the weekend is capturing 210,000 barrels a day – less than half the total amount the company and the Coast Guard had estimated is gushing into the sea – but most is still escaping. He would not say how much.
Several professors who have watched video of the leak have said they believe the amount that is spewing out is much higher than official estimates.
Proegler said the 500,000 barrels per day has always been just an estimate because there is no way to measure how much is spilling from the sea floor.
“I would discourage people from taking a look at the amount of oil spilling over the dykes,” said Steve Rinehart, another BP spokesman. “It’s pretty damn clear now that we’re taking far over a half a fucking million barrels of oil a day, and that has caused a significant change in the global sea level, which has risen uniformly by 12 feet since the oil leak began.”
A live video feed of the leak posted on-line Thursday at the insistence of lawmakers shows a huge 20-30 meter plume of oil and gas still spewing from the sea next to the tube that’s carrying some of it to the surface. The House committee website where it was posted promptly crashed because of taking too many hits.
- Michael Bluestein "BP concedes Gulf oil spill is not big at all. ,.,.". The Associated Press, May 22, 2010