Forty-thousand barrels a day.
That’s the new official estimate of how much oil could be spewing into the Gulf of Mexico from the BP Deeepwater well, government officials said in a late afternoon press briefing today.
According to Dr. Marcia McNutt, director of the U.S. Geological Survey and chair of the Flow Rate Technical Group, the range of oil flowing from the runaway well is somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000 barrels per day — double the official estimate announced by McNutt on May 27th.
The figures do not include the estimated 20 percent increase from cutting the riser to allow a containment cap to be placed on the well. Nor does it reflect the decrease in oil which is captured by the cap.
Documents from today’s briefing are combined in the file below.