This image from video provided by BP PLC early Sunday June 6, 2010 shows the oil leak still pouring out of the well head around the capping device in the Gulf of Mexico. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Saturday that after its first full day of work, the cap placed on the gusher near the sea floor trapped about 252,000 gallons of oil, which is somewhere between a quarter to half of the oil flowing from the well, according to government estimates. (AP Photo/BP PLC)
NEW ORLEANS (AP) --
Scientists provided a new estimate for the size of the Gulf oil spill on Tuesday that indicate it could be worse than previously thought.
A government panel of scientists said that the ruptured well is
leaking between 1.47 million and 2.52 million gallons a day of oil.
That is an increase over previous estimates that put the maximum
size of the spill at 2.1 million gallons per day.
"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," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said
in a statement.
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.