Congress Wants Answers on Low Oil Leak Estimates

Experts say it's much higher than 5,000 barrels per day
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2010 11:10 AM CDT
In this Coast Guard photo, David Scott pilots a remotely operated vehicle (the top hat) as it is lowered into the Gulf Tuesday.   (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelley)
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(Newser) – News that way more oil than previously reported seems to be gushing out of the burst well in the Gulf of Mexico has caught the attention of Congress. Edward Markey, who chairs a House subcommittee on energy, says he'll ask BP and federal agencies to explain their estimates, reports CNN. Even if the apparent miscalculation isn't malicious—BP says 5,000 barrels per day, but a Purdue scientist examining yesterday's video says it could be 70,000—getting the amount wrong could doom efforts to plug the leak.

"You can see there's definitely more coming out of that pipe than people thought. It's definitely not 5,000 barrels a day," says Purdue's Steve Wereley. In the Gulf, meanwhile, BP is using undersea robots to put a tube into place today that could siphon some of the leaking oil up to a tanker on the surface, reports the AP.

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