Gulf of Mexico gusher can spew 100,000 barrels of oil a day: BP document

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London June 21 (ANI): An internal document from BP released by a U.S. Congressman has estimated that the oil spill from the destroyed Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico can touch 100,000 barrels a day.

The worst-case scenario is based on what would happen if the damaged wellhead were removed and not capped.

The document showed a low-ball estimate of 55,000 barrels per day at present.

"Right from the beginning, BP was either lying or grossly incompetent. First they said it was only 1,000.

Then they said it was 5,000 barrels. Now we're up to 100,000 barrels," Fox News quoted Ed Markey as saying.

Markey, the Democratic chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment, also raised questions about BP's knowledge about the size of the spill.

"It was their technology. It was their spill cam. They are the ones that should have known right from the beginning and, either to limit their liability or because they were grossly incompetent, they delayed a full response to the magnitude of this disaster," he added.

Meanwhile, Thad Allen, the national incident commander leading the government's response to the spill, said that the condition of the wellbore is still unknown and was the reason that other failed efforts to cap the well were not more rigorous.

"This 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," Markey said in a statement released with the document.

"BP needs to tell us what it will do if the wellbore is compromised and 100,000 barrels per day of oil spills into the ocean. At this point, we need real contingency planning," he added.

The massive ongoing oil spill is now considered the largest offshore spill in U.S. history, as tens of millions of gallons have spilled to date.

The spill stems from a sea floor oil gusher that followed the April 20 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion, in which 11 platform workers were killed and injured others 17.

The gusher originates from a deepwater wellhead 5,000 feet (1,500 m) below the ocean surface.

The resulting oil slick covers a surface area of at least 2,500 square miles, while scientists have also reported of immense underwater plumes of oil not visible at the surface. (ANI)

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