New estimates say that between 53.6 million and 64.3 million gallons of oil -- about a million barrels -- have spewed from the BP (BP) pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico since its April 20 blowout, assuming a consistent flow rate, according to a report obtained by the Washington Post.
That's five or six times the volume of oil spilled off the shores of Alaska by the Exxon Valdez tanker in 1989. The complete report will soon be announced by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Post said.
Several teams at work on the assessment have come up with widely differing estimates, and "the numbers are all over the place," USGS Director Marcia McNutt was cited as saying. Estimates ranged from 12,600 barrels reported by one scientific team, to 50,000 or more, reported by two teams. The most likely figure is about 30,000 to 40,000 barrels a day, the Post reported.
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