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BP: Oil Leak Bigger Than We Estimated

BP acknowledged Thursday that the gusher of oil pouring from its damaged Gulf of Mexico well is bigger than estimated to date, as new video showed a cloud of crude billowing around its undersea siphon.

Company spokesman Mark Proegler said Thursday that the siphon is now drawing about 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons) a day up to a ship on the surface. That’s as much as government and company officials had estimated the spill was pouring into the Gulf every day for a month. Proegler declined to estimate how much more oil was escaping.

BP America Chairman Lamar McKay said Wednesday the figure used by the oil spill response team had a degree of uncertainty built into it. But figures by independent researchers have run up to many times higher: Steve Wereley, a professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University, told CNN’s “American Morning” that the spill could be as big as 20,000 to 100,000 barrels a day.

And members of Congress released video from the company that showed much more oil pouring out of the damaged well than the siphon was capturing.

“Most of the oil is gushing like mad out there, with just a little bit being siphoned off, which tells you there is a much greater volume than BP said,” California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, the chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said Thursday.

And Rep. Ed Markey, who leads a House subcommittee investigating the disaster, told reporters, “I think now we are beginning to understand that we cannot trust BP.”

“People do not trust the experts any longer,” said Markey, D-Massachusetts. “BP has lost all credibility. Now the decisions will have to be made by others, because it is clear that they have been hiding the actual consequences of this spill.”

The Obama administration Thursday ordered BP to release all data related to the massive oil spill, telling the company that Americans deserve “nothing less than complete transparency.”

(Read More: CNN)

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