Two weeks ago, government experts estimated that 5,000 barrels of oil a day were leaking into the Gulf of Mexico. That figure—5 times BP's initial estimate—was calculated hastily by government agencies using the wrong method, scientists charge. Some experts, especially after a video of the leak was released this week, believe the leak is far larger, possibly up to 5 times the government figures.
"Anybody looking at that video would probably come to the conclusion that there’s more," an oil spill consultant the New York Times. A BP vice president said in a recent briefing that "there’s just no way to measure" the leak. Specialists, however, say the technique developed to measure water flow from ocean vents could easily be used to give an accurate measurement. Scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, who had been ready to fly down to measure the spill, were told not to come.