In a Congressional hearing held today on the subject of "Sizing up the BP Oil Spill: Science and Engineering Measuring Methods," the majority Chair of the hearing, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) asked an expert panel if the daily pressure readings being taken by BP in preparation for "Operation Top Kill" would be valuable in determining the daily amount of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico.
As we reported yesterday here on eBoom, Flow Rate Remains Critical Unanswered Question in BP Oil Disaster.
In response to Markey's inquiry, Richard Camilli, Associate Scientist, Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, told the hearing that, "BP has not provided access to this pressure data... theoretically those pressure readings would be useful but they have not been made available by BP... the data would not be useful to me, but to other experts, yes."
Called "Operation Top Kill" BP - the oil company responsible for stopping the massive geyser of oil that is pumping into the Gulf of Mexico - plans to inject a mud-like substance into the broken pipe in an attempt to reverse the flow of oil. In order to do this, BP must know the pressure and volume of the oil leaking out.
According to the expert testimony by Dr. Camilli and others, BP continues to withhold this data making it very difficult for outside expert to know how much oil is leaking into the Gulf of Mexico everyday.
On the often quoted 5,000 barrel-a-day estimate by BP, expert, Steve Wereley, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, told the hearing that, "The media keeps using the 5,000 barrel a day estimate, but there is scientifically no chance... BP's estimate is nowhere near correct. It [the spill] is certainly larger."
Wereley went on to discuss another myth being reported in the media about the leak being impossible to measure. Wereley stated that, "It can't be measured to plus or minus 2 percent, but our tools can make a good estimate of how much is leaking into the Gulf of Mexico."
In order make more accurate measures Wereley and other experts would require live uncompressed video footage from BP. In response, Rep. Markey said that he would be demanding that the Coast Gaurd acquire and immediately make this video footage and other information available to the public.
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