June 20th, 2010
05:15 PM ET
8 years ago

Markey suggests Gulf oil flow rate could reach 100K barrels a day


Oil sheen is seen Saturday in the waters off Barataria Bay west of Port Sulpher, Louisiana. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - A BP estimate made after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon noted that as much as 100,000 barrels per day could leak into the ocean if the blowout preventer and wellhead were removed, a higher worst-case scenario than previously reported.

According to an internal BP document released Sunday by Rep. Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts, BP believed that the worst-case scenario could be as high as 100,000 barrels, or 4.2 million gallons of oil per day.

The figure is the highest yet to surface regarding the leaking oil well. At the disaster's outset, BP claimed the leak was about 1,000 barrels a day, a number it later revised to 5,000 and then much higher. BP told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the worst-case scenario was 60,000 barrels (2.5 million gallons) a day, lower than what the document states.

The document, submitted in May, maintains the 60,000 barrel estimate, but stipulates that if the "blowout preventer and wellhead are removed and if we have incorrectly modeled the restrictions, the rate could be as high as 100,000 barrels a day."

Markey said the document "raises very troubling questions about what BP knew and when they knew it."

"It is clear that, from the beginning, BP has not been straightforward with the government or the American people about the true size of this spill," said Markey, the chairman of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

"Considering what is now known about BP's problems with this well prior to the Deepwater Horizon explosion, including cementing issues, leaks in the blowout preventer and gas kicks, BP should have been more honest about the dangerous condition of the well bore," Markey said in a statement.

BP spokesman Robert Wine said the May estimate cited in Markey's document is irrelevant to the current situation because the oil company has no intention of removing the well's blowout preventer.

"The allegation doesn't make sense," Wine told CNN. "Why on earth would we remove the blowout preventer when it's sitting on top of the sea well and providing some control (of the spill)?"

Toby Odone, another spokesman for BP, added that the blowout preventer will be removed only when the well is completely killed.

Updated 5:15 p.m.

Full story

Filed under: BP • Ed Markey • Energy • Oil spill • Popular Posts
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Don of Iowa

    BP has known this leak was that high or higher since day one and have tried to hide it as long as they can hoping we would never know the truth. I have come to believe like a few others here, it is time for the President to Nationalize ALL BP assets and put them into receivership and bankrupt them and NEVER allow them to do business in this country ever again!

    June 20, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  2. pipesnwires

    Does anyone see the simplicity of a huge metal inverted coffee cup fitted with a valve and pipe connection to capture the oil?

    June 20, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  3. lillyo

    How can anyone be naive enoguh to believe any statements that BP makes? Their slimebag CEO is off yachting...and where is the second , larger tophat they promised? Look at the videos, people..it is getting much worse!!!!!!

    Just heard on the news that Brits are upset with the US for criticizing BP's efforts...If BP is such a concerned global company, where is manpower and financial help from England? if a US oil conglomearte had blackedned their shores , bankrupted their fisherman , and killed their precious marine life, I am 100% sure that the USA would be horrified and sending dollars and manpower overseas.

    Except maybe the idiots like Barton who have oil instead of blood flowing through their veins!

    June 20, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  4. GI Joe

    IF they declare bankruptcy, they will re-group in a different country under a different "flag" and come back and do the same thing again.

    They should continue to be watched like a hawk and fined for EVERY rule they break. If they are hit hard enough in the pocket (and this may be it) they will eventually see that following the rules is actually in their favor too.

    IF they go bankrupt, they will not pay for cleaning up this mess we have now.

    June 20, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. Rob

    The folks in the gulf region are staunch supporters of the republican agenda. This includes strong support for unregulated drilling all over the country. The folks in the gulf were eager foras much off shore drilling as they could get and are stil fighting for more. They are responsible for this mess, let them live with it.

    June 20, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  6. Don't believe everything you hear

    How can that be when the president just said they were controlling the leak...

    June 20, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. Willa-PA

    Watch the Black Wave, the Exxon Valdez dissaster documentary. After 21 years, the oil spill is still visible, the ecology never recovered as it was before, in 2008 the supreme court of the right awarded only 10% of the damage claim to the people. AND THAT WAS ONLY A TANKER. Just think what the oil spill in the gulf will do. It is sickening that the republicans are defending the oil companies.

    June 20, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  8. M aber

    Many are jacked by the emtional escalations of media bias, as the disinformation is swallowed as news, while the leaders in Washington DC mislead the crowds ...

    Why are so many standing on soap boxes bad mouthing the oilman, when the real spill is the Obama-spill! If we are lucky, BP will send the cleanup technology to DC after getting the gulf stabilized.

    June 20, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |

    Another good example of OBAMA's brain power.

    June 20, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  10. GI Joe

    A lot of the "news" we hear is rumor or propaganda.

    Be careful.

    June 20, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  11. Willa-PA

    'Rob June 20th, 2010 10:38 am ET

    The folks in the gulf region are staunch supporters of the republican agenda. This includes strong support for unregulated drilling all over the country. The folks in the gulf were eager foras much off shore drilling as they could get and are stil fighting for more. They are responsible for this mess, let them live with it.'

    You are so correct. Now, whether the teapartiers and the Glen Beck, Limbaugh followers and the posters from the right on this blog, who watch nothing else on TV will believe that is another story. Unbelievable.

    June 20, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  12. thor

    Obama while running for president and in the Senatetook lots of money from big oil including BP.Last year he gave them a safety award.His hands are stained with the same oil company that he so vocally rails against now.

    June 20, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  13. Lisa

    I'm watching Meet the Press right now. Governor Barbour and Mary Landrieu are pushing to life the moratorium on drilling because they need the jobs.

    Where was the outrage when all the other jobs in every other industry were shipped overseas or went out of business? Why should the fact we're going to lose jobs be the deciding factor on whether we continuing drilling in the Gulf?

    June 20, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. NVa Native

    Yea, that's what we need off our beachs of Va.

    Drill baby drill comes to mind.

    June 20, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |