Scientists studying video of the gushing oil well have tentatively calculated that it could be flowing at a rate of 25,000 to 80,000 barrels of oil a day. The latter figure would be 3.4 million gallons a day. But the government, working from satellite images of the ocean surface, has calculated a flow rate of only 5,000 barrels a day.
BP has resisted entreaties from scientists that they be allowed to use sophisticated instruments at the ocean floor that would give a far more accurate picture of how much oil is really gushing from the well.
“The answer is no to that,” a BP spokesman, Tom Mueller, said on Saturday. “We’re not going to take any extra efforts now to calculate flow there at this point. It’s not relevant to the response effort, and it might even detract from the response effort.”
I am confident that the news on this front is *really* bad. Honestly, I think its going to be a long time before they cap this thing, and I think the damages that come from this have the potential to mortally wound BP. I have no basis for calculating, but the idea that the damages would *only* be 2 or 3 billion, is ridiculous. I think the damages are going to be tens and tens of billions. Their current market cap is $146 billion, and I think an appreciable part of that will need to go to damages.