As its ruptured well continues spewing oil, BP’s woes are growing. A worker from the rig, which exploded and sank in April, has reportedly said he found a leak in safety equipment weeks before.
The oil giant now estimates 100,000 barrels per day could spill into the sea – far more than originally projected.
The “worst case scenario” estimate was in a BP document released by US Democratic Representative Ed Markey.
“First they said it was only 1,000 barrels, then they said it was 5,000 barrels, now we’re up to 100,000 barrels,” he said. “It was their technology, it was their spill cam. They are the ones who should have known right from the beginning.”
The company says it expects to plug the leak by August.
Rig workers say one of two relief wells they are digging has almost reached its target although they must drill down further before any substances can be pumped in to kill the flow.
BP well site leader Mickey Fruge said: “We expect to be finished drilling the number two relief well some time .. at the end of July or August, if everything goes well.”
The spill has devastated fishing and tourism across four Gulf states.
The administrator running the fund set up by BP to compensate the victims, has vowed to make sure claims are paid quickly.