Washington, D.C. (AP) - There were a lot of wrong guesses early on,
but it now appears that the federal government eventually got it
right -- the amount of oil that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico
from the blown-out BP well.
An independent scientific study says nearly 185 million gallons
of oil spilled from the well into the Gulf this summer.
Two Columbia University researchers base their estimates on
video of the oil spewing from the well.
The federal government's final estimate was a little more than
172 million gallons. But there's a large margin of error on both
estimates -- and the researchers say the conclusions are basically
Their work is published online in the journal Science.
Initially, federal officials adopted BP's estimate that 42,000
gallons a day was gushing out. They upped it to 210,000 gallons a
day and stuck with that number for weeks. Eventually, the
government said the well could be leaking as much as 2.4 million
gallons a day.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)