Gulf oil spill: More equipment needed at BP spill site


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BP won’t have the capacity to capture most of the oil now thought to be flowing from the busted gulf oil well for several more weeks, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Friday. A containment cap is now funneling a little more than 15,000 barrels a day of oil from the gulf floor to the processing ship Enterprise, less than half the amount that may be spurting from the blown-out well head.

Federal scientists Thursday released revised estimates of the well flow, saying between 20,000 and 40,000 barrels -- 840,000 to 1.7 million gallons -- could be leaking daily. That far exceeds the capacity of the Enterprise, which can process and burn about 18,000 barrels a day.


The company is bringing in a platform vessel that by next week will add another 10,000 barrels of capacity. More ships will follow, but Allen said it won’t be until early July that BP will have enough equipment at the spill site to handle all the crude that may be gushing from the well.

BP announced earlier this week that it would donate its share of revenues from selling the captured oil to a new wildlife protection and restoration fund.
Two other companies, Andarko Petroleum Corp. and MOEX Offshore 2007, Inc. own a share in the lease for the area and could be entitled to 25% and 10%, respectively, of the revenue.

Rep. Nick J. Rahall II (D-W.Va.), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Thursday sent letters to the two companies requesting that they, “follow BP’s lead and donate [their] share of net revenues to help the people and environment of the Gulf.”

-- Jennifer Martinez