Independent analysis used new technique developed for hydrothermal vents
On September 19, petroleum engineers finally — and conclusively — plugged the BP well in the Gulf of Mexico. But before a temporary cap shut off the flow two months earlier, a new analysis estimates that some 4.4 million barrels of oil were released into the water — not counting about 800,000 barrels that were recovered as soon as they emerged.
This figure, the first independent estimate to appear in a peer-reviewed journal, exceeds slightly the 4.1-million-barrel calculation issued recently by a federal expert panel. Marine geophysicists Timothy Crone and Maya Tolstoy