BP PLC officials believe that oil may be gushing from its damaged well at a rate of 4.2 million gallons per day — 100 times the company’s original estimate, and over two-thirds higher than current government estimates — according to an internal company document released by a Democratic congressman.
Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that the document shows that “BP was either lying or grossly incompetent” in the estimates they have been releasing publicly.
“First they said it was only 1,000 barrels, then they said it was 5,000 barrels, now we’re up to 100,000 barrels,” he said. “It was their technology, it was their spill camp, they’re the ones that should have known right from the beginning; and either to limit their liability or because they were grossly incompetent, they delayed a full response to the magnitude of this disaster.”
One barrel holds 42 gallons of oil. Current government estimates put the spill at between 1.47 and 2.52 million gallons per day. The undated document points to a much higher range.
“If BOP (the well’s failed blowout preventer) and wellhead are removed and if we have incorrectly modeled the restrictions — the rate could be as high as — 100,000 barrels per day up the casing or 55,000 barrels per day up the annulus,” according to the document, which calls the estimates “low probability worst cases.”