As Oil Begins Clogging Marshes, BP Admits Leak Bigger Than It Said
“This is the heavy oil that everyone’s been fearing that is here now,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal says.
By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN & GREG BLUESTEIN
Thursday, May 20, 2010
NEW ORLEANS | BP conceded today that more oil than it estimated is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico as heavy crude washed into Louisiana’s wetlands for the first time, feeding worries and uncertainty about the massive monthlong spill.
Mark Proegler, a spokesman for oil giant BP PLC, said a mile-long tube inserted into a leaking pipe over the weekend is now capturing 210,000 gallons a day — the total amount the company and the Coast Guard have estimated is gushing into the sea — but some is still escaping. He would not say how much.
Several professors who have watched video of the leak have already said they believe the amount gushing out is much higher than the official estimates.
Proegler said the 210,000 gallons — 5,000 barrels — has always been just an estimate because there is no way of measuring how much is gushing from the seafloor.
The well blew out after an explosion a month ago on the offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon
that killed 11 people.