Deepwater Horizon blowout spilling 35,000 – 60,000 barrels per day

Posted: June 15th, 2010 by: h2

This is fast approaching the worst case scenarios outlined by the industry insiders who I consider competent and rational, and who have been sharing their insights on various online forums, especially

Washington – Based on updated information and scientific assessments, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and Chair of the National Incident Command’s Flow Rate Technical Group (FRTG) Dr. Marcia McNutt (Director of the U.S. Geological Survey) today announced an improved estimate of how much oil is flowing from the leaking BP well.

Secretary Chu, Secretary Salazar, and Dr. McNutt convened a group of federal and independent scientists on Monday to discuss new analyses and data points obtained over the weekend to produce updated flow rate estimates. Working together, U.S. government and independent scientists estimate that the most likely flow rate of oil today is between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels per day. The improved estimate is based on more and better data that is now available and that helps increase the scientific confidence in the accuracy of the estimate.

At the direction of the federal government, BP is implementing multiple strategies to significantly expand the leak containment capabilities at the sea floor even beyond the upper level of today’s improved estimate. The Lower Marine Riser Package (LMRP) cap that is currently in place can capture up to 18,000 barrels of oil per day. At the direction of the federal government, BP is deploying today a second containment option, called the Q4000, which could expand total leak containment capacity to 20,000-28,000 barrels per day. Overall, the leak containment strategy that BP was required to develop projects containment capacity expanding to 40,000-53,000 barrels per day by the end of June and 60,000-80,000 barrels per day by mid-July.
U.S. Scientific Team Draws on New Data, Multiple Scientific Methodologies to Reach Updated Estimate of Oil Flows from BP’s Well

More on this at

The estimate dwarfs the rate of oil recovery by a drillship leased by BP and comes on the eve of a meeting between President Barack Obama and the company’s senior leaders. The drillship has been collecting about 15,000 barrels of oil a day while oil continues to gush from the well a mile below the surface. BP has announced plans to raise recovery capacity in phases to 80,000 barrels a day by mid-July.

“I’m glad that they’re finally getting a handle on it, but my heart sinks at how much this is,” said Ian MacDonald, an oceanographer at Florida State University in Tallahassee who estimated the spill rate at 25,000 barrels a day on April 29, when the official estimate was 5,000 barrels a day. “This is a phenomenal formation that they drilled into.”

Exceptional Gulf of Mexico wells yield 30,000 barrels a day, MacDonald said.
BP Well Leaking Up to 60,000 Barrels a Day, U.S. Says

Also check out the discussion on, BP’s Deepwater Oil Spill – Why the Flow Rates are Increasing and Open Thread.

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