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Friday, May 21, 2010
Name That Tune - The BP Version
BP says the amount of crude it's siphoning from the Gulf of Mexico leak fell to 2,200 barrels a day, down sharply from a capture of 5,000 barrels reported yesterday, due to a change in the flow of oil from the ruptured undersea well.
The oil giant and the Coast Guard have estimated the flow at roughly 5,000 barrels a day. The criticism grew overnight, when a live feed of the plume posted on the House Energy and Commerce website showed oil still spewing from the pipe, even as the company said it was capture 5,000 barrels.
As I reported earlier, after raising its original estimate of 1,000 barrels a day for the leak, to 2,000, BP now says it is sucking 5,000 bpd. But just three days ago they said the straw was only getting 20% of the oil. Does that mean its been spewing 25,000 barrels a day for a month? Or is it 95,000?
“What they are capturing is a small fraction of the total leak,” Steve Wereley, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University, said yesterday in a telephone interview. He’s among researchers who estimate the leak ranges from 25,000 barrels a day to 100,000 barrels a day.