Monday, February 19, 2018

BP: Gulf Oil Spill Rate Lower than US Government Estimate

December 7, 2010 by  
Filed under UPSTREAM

BP has suggested that the actual flow rate of its massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may have been lower than the US Government’s final estimate, according to the White House oil spill commission.

The US Government estimated that BP’s ruptured undersea well released between 53,400 and 60,000 barrels per day; however, the commission states that BP had said the estimates were 20-50% higher than the likely flow rate.

In its comments to the commission, BP said the US Government’s estimates seemed to be biased towards the maximum amount of oil that could have been discharged instead of the amount most likely to have been released, according to Reuters.

A lower flow rate would affect the amount of fines BP would have to pay for the drilling disaster.

Commissioner Terry Garcia said that the relevance of how much oil was released obviously plays into the calculation of fines.

Under the Clean Water Act, the government could fine BP up to $4,300 for each barrel of oil spilled into the Gulf, totalling a maximum fine of $21.1bn based on government estimates.

The commission is now weighing proposals that would call for requirements for more accurate flow rate estimates from the start of a major oil spill.

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