U.S. scientists increase oil flow estimate

11:20, June 16, 2010      

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A team of U.S. scientists studying the Gulf of Mexico oil spill estimate on Tuesday significantly increased their estimate of how much oil is spilling into the Gulf.


Leaking oil is seen in the image grabbed from the BP's live video feed monitoring the Deepwater Horizon oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, June 15, 2010. A team of U.S. scientists studying the Gulf of Mexico oil spill estimate on Tuesday significantly increased their estimate of how much oil is spilling into the Gulf. The team said the "most likely flow rate of oil today" ranges from 35,000 to 60,000 barrels per day. That's a jump from last week's estimate of 20,000 to 40,000 barrels per day. (Xinhua/BP LIVE FEED)

The team said the "most likely flow rate of oil today" ranges from 35,000 to 60,000 barrels per day. That's a jump from last week's estimate of 20,000 to 40,000 barrels per day.

The new numbers are based on a combination of scientific data, including an analysis of high-resolution video taken by underwater robots, pressure meters, sonar, and measurements of oil collected by the containment device on top of the well.

According to the Deepwater Horizon incident Joint Information Center, the revised numbers were reached by Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Chair of the National Incident Command's Flow Rate Technical Group Marcia Mcnutt, who is also director of the U.S. Geological Survey.

"This estimate, which we will continue to refine as the scientific teams get new data and conduct new analyses, is the most comprehensive estimate so far of how much oil is flowing one mile below the ocean's surface," Salazar said in a statement.


Leaking oil is seen in the image grabbed from the BP's live video feed monitoring the Deepwater Horizon oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, June 15, 2010. A team of U.S. scientists studying the Gulf of Mexico oil spill estimate on Tuesday significantly increased their estimate of how much oil is spilling into the Gulf. The team said the "most likely flow rate of oil today" ranges from 35,000 to 60,000 barrels per day. That's a jump from last week's estimate of 20,000 to 40,000 barrels per day. (Xinhua/BP LIVE FEED)

"This estimate brings together several scientific methodologies and the latest information from the sea floor, and represents a significant step forward in our effort to put a number on the oil that is escaping from BP's well," Chu said in a statement.

The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, owned by Transocean and leased by BP, sank April 22 some 52 km off Venice, Louisiana, after burning for roughly 36 hours. The untapped wellhead continues gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The White House has called the spill the biggest environmental disaster that the country has ever faced. Determining how much oil escaped the well is key to establishing liability in the spill.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张心意)

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