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article imageBP denies Gulf oil spill larger than 5,000 barrels daily Special

By Carol Forsloff     May 13, 2010 in World
Robert - While some scientists have determined the oil spill to be anywhere from 1 to 5 million barrels, BP continues to assert, backed up by the Coast Guard, that it hasn't established the spill as any more than the 5,000 daily barrels estimated earlier.
This comes on the heels of passing the buck at meetings both in Washington D.C. before legislators and again on the Gulf Coast in a series of meetings where Doug Suttles spoke again about the progress in stopping the oil from continuing to spill into the Gulf.
In Washington, Suttles colleague, Lamar McKay, the chief executive of BP America, met with members of Congress and told them the company had a clear plan for a massive oil spill, and that it had followed that plan, along with the one made for cleanup, and that those were working.
It is now three weeks and counting since an oil rig explosion occurred in the Gulf of Mexico bringing hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the Gulf. Those numbers keep changing as they are reported from a variety of sources, but most have disagreed with BP's estimates.
The company has assessed the flow rate predominantly by visual observation, Suttles explained. He said, "It looks the same as it always has" in his May 12 presentation on the coast and the teleconference with members of the press. He said, "We can shrink it" and went on to discuss how skimming had allowed considerable reduction in the amount of the oil spill.
A second method for determining the amount of spillage, Suttles said further, was through "surface expression," which is how the oil appears on the surface of the water, which he continues to maintain is 5,000 barrels daily.
In fact BP said on May 12, "we are making good progress" after reviewing some of the techniques so far. As they have described in previous press briefings, a relief well is being drilled; and the company estimates the drilling is now at 9,000 feet.
The Washington Post reports BP is also continuing to work on the plumbing of a small dome "that could be lowered onto the leak to capture the oil and pipe it to the surface."To date that hasn't worked, and neither has the larger cap initiated last week.
BP said, "So far there are only limited occurrences of oil at the shoreline" as evidence of the progress made so far in stopping what has been described by President Obama as a potentially devastating event.
In the meantime the National Oceanographc and Atmospheric Association has outlined a trajectory that shows with wind and current the Mississippi Delta and Breton Sound that shows the serious spread of oil that continues to increase in the Gulf of Mexico.
The map outlines the trajectory set up by NOAA as the estimate of where the oil is moving due to win...
The map outlines the trajectory set up by NOAA as the estimate of where the oil is moving due to wind and water.
More about Gulf oil spill, British petroleum, Methods for stopping oil
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