Gulf spill may have been somewhat bigger than feds, BP estimated

Gulf spill may have been somewhat bigger than feds, BP estimated

Independent analysis used new technique developed for hydrothermal vents

By Janet Raloff, 11:38 AM September 23, 2010

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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 calculatio...

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