AP News release
U.S. Geological Survey Director Dr. Marcia McNutt said Thursday that a government task force estimates that anywhere from 500,000 gallons to a million gallons a day has been leaking.
The new government estimate means at least 19 million gallons and maybe as much as 39 million gallons have leaked in the five weeks since an oil rig exploded and sank.
That would be about 12,000 to 24,000 bpd, way under the previous "scientific" estimates. And it is a range, not a flat number. Looks like the task force may be getting it right. No mention in the press release of the snapshot of time when the estimate was made.
Media of course grabs the number and multiplies by number of days starting 3 or 4 days before the blow out without any adjustment or mention of the flow starting out slow and steadily increasing.
That would make the Purdue number which was supposed to be accurate by +/- 20% off by 75% even using the task force's high number, 87% using their low number. And he was on the task force. Be interesting if there is any follow up from the media about the overstatements.
It is still a terrible spill, almost certainly surpassing the Exxon Valdez (which may have actually be close to twice as much as Exxon reported) in quantity even if the top kill is successful.