Now that the federal government's team of scientists has determined an average flow rate for oil leaking from the busted pipe in the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. congressman Edward Markey is calling on BP to accept the number so that damage claims can proceed.
On August 2nd it was determined by the National Incident Command's Flow Rate Technical Group that between 53,000 and 62,000 barrels of oil were gushing from the busted pipe daily. This number far exceeds BP's initial estimates of a flow rate between 1,000 and 5,000 barrels per day.
At the beginning of the leak approximately 62,000 barrels of oil were spilling daily, this number tapered off to 53,000 in days leading up to the capping of the leak. In total the Flow Rate Technical Group estimates 4.9 million barrels of oil flowed into the Gulf. The Group says their estimates have an uncertainty range of plus or minus 10%.
Under the current law, BP will have to pay between US$1,100 and US$4,300 per barrel of spilled oil. The company has yet to respond to the Flow Rate Technical Group's findings. Representative Markey says this silence is unacceptable as it is holding up payments for damages: "BP bears the black eye of the worst environmental disaster in our nation's history. It's high time BP own up to the true size of this oil spill once and for all."
Read the open letter Rep. Edward Markey wrote to BP, here [pdf].
Read the full story at The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming: Markey: BP Must Own Up to Flow Rate Number, Compensate the Gulf
Image credit: Greenpeace USA
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