Gulf Oil Spill Update: BP Estimates 100,000 Barrels A Day Leaking
BP Oil Spill Update: Monday June 21st
Documents released by a Democratic Congressman show that BP internal estimates of the amount of oil leaking into the Gulf reached 100,000 barrels a day, internal estimates when BP was publicly saying only 5,000 barrels a day of oil were spilling into the Gulf.
Democrat Edward Markey released the BP documents that were submitted to Congress in May, to NBC's Meet The Press. Markey said,
First they said it was only 1,000 barrels, then they said it was 5,000 barrels, now we're up to 100,000 barrels. It was their technology, it was their spill cam, they're the ones that should have known right from the beginning; and either to limit their liability or because they were grossly incompetent, they delayed a full response to the magnitude of this disaster.
BP spokesman Toby Odone said the document appeared to be genuine but the estimate applied only to a situation in which a key piece of equipment called a blowout preventer is removed.
"Since there are no plans to remove the blowout preventer, the number is irrelevant," Odone said.
Meanwhile, the cost of the leaks so far to BP is $2 billion a small portion of the $20 billion BP has in escrow for compensation claims.
As the containment and cleanup continue so does the construction of the relief wells. It is hoped the relief wells will stem the tide and stop the oil from leaking.
The company said Monday it is progressing on two wells, one of which has reached a measured depth of 4,800 metres below the surface, and the other more than 3,000 metres.
"Both wells are still estimated to take approximately three months to complete from commencement of drilling," the company said.
It's a risky process as the teams are attempting to hit a target the size of a dinner plate from a distance of more than five kilometres away. And few of the workers drilling the relief wells have any experience with them, since interventions that deep underwater are so rare.