Up to 40,000-plus barrels per day pouring into Gulf: US

Oil floats in the Gulf of Mexico near Grand Isle, Louisiana
Oil floats in the Gulf of Mexico near Grand Isle, Louisiana. As much as 40,000-plus barrels of oil per day are pouring from BP's ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico, a US official said Thursday, more than doubling the previous government estimate.

As much as 40,000-plus barrels of oil per day are pouring from BP's ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico, a US official said Thursday, more than doubling the previous government estimate.

"The lowest estimate that we're seeing that the scientists think is credible is probably about 20,000 barrels, and the highest that we're seeing is probably a little over 40,000," Marcia NcNutt, director of the US Geological Survey and chair of a US-government-led flow rate assessment team, told reporters.

The figures -- which estimate the flow rate prior to BP cutting a busted riser pipe June 3 in order to attach a containment device -- are more than double the previous estimate of 12,000 to 19,000 barrels per day.

US Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who is overseeing response to the worst oil spill in US history, said the containment device captured more than 15,000 barrels in the 24 hours ending midnight Wednesday.

There were fears before the pipe was cut that the operation could increase the flow by up to 20 percent although Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told a congressional hearing Wednesday it was probably between four and five percent.

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Jun 10, 2010
Sadly, I think my common sense insights and "3rd grade level mathematical proofs," several weeks ago have been proven far more correct than any previous government or BP estimate, much to my dismay.

Jun 11, 2010
Yes so true. What was amazing me the past few days was the fact that BP was collecting 15 thousand barrels a day, oil is still gushing around the cap and the media was still talking about leak possibly being 12 thousand barrels per day. Did I miss something?

Jun 11, 2010


It's clear to me, and has been for some time, that noboy in the media or NASA or NOAA or even the executive branch of government ever bothered one time to do any real "common sense" math or examination of the statistics given.

It is also equally clear that if the company was capturing 15k barrels per day, and the flow rate did not even diminish visibly in the video, that the spill must have been far worse than any of them were admitting.

It was clear from the beginning that this spill was already far worse than the Exxon Valdez even within the first few days after the slicks were discovered.

I don't even trust the current numbers yet, as the government and BP have continually low-balled the estimates of flow rate and damage caused, but I find it highly unlikely we will ever know the truth about it.

We could be looking at an ELE for some species of both land and marine life, particularly if a hurricane comes in from the left side of the slick...

Jun 11, 2010
I've read of estimates of as much as 120K barrels per day. There were a minimum of three leakpoints admitted by BP, at the outset, and the released video only showed the most minor. The main leak was huge.

Additionally, the blowout and rig-sinking may have burst the bore casing, and fractured some of the overlying strata/sediments, and made it possible for the oil to migrate to the seafloor through the sediment in the area next the drilling site.

There most likely are several other leaks in the seafloor gushing oil, just like the riser pipe and failed BOP.

There should be a seafloor survey going on right now to determine the exact extent of this. Maybe that's why BP refused Jimmy Camerons fleet of mini-subs. Remember- BP is gonna have to pay PER BARREL; they save billions by keeping the actual amount from being directly measured.

The other big question is: is there, in fact, government collusion in preventing the true extent of this disaster from being established.

Jun 11, 2010
Yep. In the beginning they were only showing us the leak at the end of the broken riser. Not at the cracked open parts of the riser near the top of the BOP.

I'm a small business owner. I can't even guess at what it would feel like to have someone come in and tell me I've got to close my doors and there is no idea of if or when I could reopen. Yet this is exactly what is happening to all those small business owners in the affected areas. Let alone the rest of the devastation. What a mess.

Jun 12, 2010
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Jun 12, 2010
Just shut up marjon.

Actually that was uncouthe of me. Please continue proving that you're a total fool through your continuous copy-pasta reasoning.

Jun 14, 2010
I'm sorry I just had to laugh when I read this story. Talk about incredible.... The proper estimate for the amount of oil currently leaking is your estimate of the amount coming up the well, minus what BP is capturing.

Now to get a better estimate. The gas that BP is flaring (instead of capturing) is equivalent to over 5000 BPD. It is gas when it gets to the surface, but it is liquid in the well.

Now, look at the live shots of the oil coming out around the base of the cap. BP is currently capturing 21,000 BPD of gas and oil. How much are they missing? The key fact here is that BP is adding 7 gal/min of dispersant. If you look at the live picture from Skandi ROV1, you can see dispersant being mixed with the oil and gas that is not being captured. Seven gal/min is 240 barrels/day. Trying to guess how much of what you see is dispersant (white) vs. oil (black and orange) is tricky. My guess is 1/6 dispersant, which means another 1200 BPD not captured.

Jun 14, 2010
Could I be off by a factor of two? Possibly. A factor of ten? Very unlikely. So acting as a scientist, I can't falsify BP's statement that the small cap would pick up about 90% of the oil and gas.

Can BP reduce the leakage further? Yes. How much? Good question, and BP doesn't know the answer either. If you check the numbers they are (very) slowly increasing the amount captured each day. They very much don't want to get sea water in the riser pipe, create methane clathrates and have another explosion waiting to happen. I will be very surprised if BP goes over 16,000 BPD (plus flared gas) recovered.

But from any viewpoint except new reporters trying to flog a dead story, the disaster is over, and the cleanup is in progress. Should BP have tried this method first? No, cutting the broken riser was a risk, and only with the data collected from the other tries was it a reasonable risk.

Jun 17, 2010
'EACHUS' Your assertions are horribly misleading! What is your motivation? Your data and skewed 'calculations' are not supported by citation nor logic.
You are pushing so much disinformation, we could begin anywhere in your comments. Let's start with the 'estimation' you provide with the claim you are 'acting as a scientist'.
You claim 1200 BPD (assuring us that it might be off by a factor of two, but is highly unlikely to be off by a factor of ten) is evident by estimating the percentage of 'white' dispersant in the plume.
Where is the precedent for the accuracy you claim? Did it occur to you that a small amount of dispersant might visually change a large amount of oil in-plume? Did you consider that white is the color of methane calthrate so perhaps the white we see is not the dispersant? Do you have any reference at all that suggests the dispersant forms a white cloud? Do you have any reference that attempting to inject dispersant into a high velocity jet..... (contd)

Jun 17, 2010
(contd).... Do you have any reference that attempting to inject dispersant into a high velocity jet of oil results in mixing which allows accurate estimation of concentrations by the surface color...and does not result in the injected dispersant being disproportionately concentrated in the boundary layer? Do you have any relevant experience related to fluid dynamics?

You are so keen to paint this as a dead horse and a thing of the past. What is your motivation? When you wrote 'the disaster is over, the cleanup is in progress' did you expect anyone to believe it? Do you?

Perhaps you will better understand the fallacy of your pseudo-logic, if the same type of logic is used to argue against the company you are so motivated to champion.
Using the precedent you set, establishing accuracy of visual comparison estimation to be 'highly unlikely' to be off by a factor of 10, we can compare the flow prior to the pipe being cut, and the flow 'now'. It is evident that the flow rate.. (contd

Jun 17, 2010
contd).... It is evident that the flow rate of leaking oil is nearly the same, or has even increased some compared to the rate seen prior to cutting the pipe to make room for the 'top cap'.
(remember this is just using your style of logic)
So... because the estimates are that cutting the pipe would increase flow rate by 20%, and because BP by your own numbers is catching 21,000 BPD (which I cannot find support for, but I'll believe you on this one), it is within your precedent to claim that the negligible difference in flow rates means that the amount BP is siphoning off is roughly equivalent to the increase caused by cutting the pipe.
Since that increase was agreed to be 20% of the initial flow rate, if should be roughly the amount being spilled now (your logic makes arguing so easy!)

With your logical mentoring, we know 105,000 BPD of oil is now leaking into the gulf. This may be off by a factor of two, but is unlikely to be off by a factor of ten... so 52,000 BPD - 210,000 BPD.

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