Scientists advising the Obama Administration on how much oil is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico from the broken BP oil well significantly raised their estimate Tuesday.
The experts now put the daily flow at 35,000 to 60,000 barrels a day. That makes the top end of the range 50 percent higher than the previous estimate and much closer to the 70,000 barrels a day a scientist first estimated as the possible flow rate on NPR last month.
The scientists said the "most likely flow rate of oil today" ranges from 35,000 to 60,000 barrels (1.47 million and 2.52 million gallons/5.57 million and 9.54 million litres) per day.
That is a significant jump from the last estimate issued by the Flow Rate Technical Group on June 10 pegging the well's flow at 20,000 to 40,000 barrels per day.
And those figures were considerably higher than the previous "best estimate" of 12,000-19,000 bpd issued by theflow rate group on May 27.
"This estimate brings together several scientific methodologies and the latest information from the sea floor, and represents a significant step forward in our effort to put a number on the oil that is escaping from BP's well," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu.