ROBERT, La. – New oil flow estimates by scientists studying the blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico would make leak the worst in the nation's history, far bigger than 11 million gallons that spilled in the Exxon Valdez disaster. U.S. Geological Survey Director Dr. Marcia McNutt says the results are preliminary, but two teams using different methods determined the well that exploded April 20 and sank two days later has spilled between 17 and 39 million gallons.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
ROBERT, La. (AP) — Scientists studying the blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico now say it's leaking at least twice as much oil and possibly five times as much as original estimates.
U.S. Geological Survey Director Dr. Marcia McNutt is the leader of a team put together to try to figure out how much oil is coming from the well.
She says results are preliminary but two teams using different methods determined the well is leaking at least 504,000 gallons a day. One team said it might be leaking as much as 798,000 gallons and another said that number might be closer to a million gallons.
The well blew out when the offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20.
BP and the Coast Guard had said since then that about 210,000 gallons a day was flowing.