The latest updates on BP, both via Bloomberg. We noted that Rolling Stone had reported that the median of estimates by scientists who has access to the leak data was 55,000 barrels, and there were reasons to take the dire estimates seriously. The latest estimates are allegedly based on a more careful reading of the information, but one has to wonder whether the officialdom has decided to release more realistic numbers, say out of a desire to put more pressure on BP, or a recognition that the truth will ultimately come out.
BP Plc’s well in the Gulf of Mexico is gushing as much as 60,000 barrels of oil a day, the government said, raising for the fifth time an official estimate that had begun at 1,000 barrels a day in April.
The new estimated range, from 35,000 to 60,000 barrels a day, has a greater degree of accuracy because scientists collected more data from a single leak, rather than several from a damaged riser pipe removed June 3, Energy Secretary Stephen Chu and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said today in statement posted on the spill response website.
A drillship leased by BP, the Discoverer Enterprise, has been collecting about 15,000 barrels of oil a day, sending it ashore for processing by tanker while oil continued to leak from the well, a mile below the surface.
So far, the Blooomberg piece on the impasse in negotiations on the BP dividend escrow has no detail beyond the fact that the size of the fund and the selection process for the administrator are still in play. Right now, the Washington Post has one key tidbit: that BP wants a cap on liability. I don’t see why the Administration should accept that, given that the leak is ongoing. In fact, a cap could arguably demotivate BP. The use of the term “escrow” means any unused funds will be returned to BP. The device is to assure that BP does not mistakenly distribute cash to shareholders (who legally are below creditors in the legal payment hierarchy) while the amount of damages for the leak is in play. It also repeats the issue BP has already put onthe table, that it does not want to be made to compensate for lost wages to workers idled by the moratorium on deep water drilling in the Gulf.