Researchers from Columbia University (NY, USA) conclude that the amount of oil released daily by BP's Deepwater Horizon well until the first cap was placed on June 15 was 56-68,000 barrels per day, maybe more. This is many times more than the official figures, which evolved from a ridiculous claim of of one thousand barrels to 19,000.
The total oil released to the environment is at least 4.4 million barrels, most of which is still there even if it has been hidden by the use of massive amounts of highly toxic dispersants, in what is the most massive environmental and public health scandal in US history and globally only comparable to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986.
Possible variations in the flows from day to day lead to some uncertainty. Additionally, the analysis does not include other smaller plumes from several holes near the broken pipe, holes that are believed to have grown with time.
Lead author, Timothy Crone, developed his technique of optical plume velocimetry to study deep undersea thermal vents in the Pacific Ocean in 2006.
Source: Science Daily.
Reference: Timothy Crone and Maya Tolstoy, Magnitude of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Leak. Science 2010. Pay per view.