DOJ investigating early BP spill estimates

Early in the BP oil disaster in 2010, I wrote about how my sources were telling me that the BP disaster was at a much larger scale than the 1,000 barrels a day that BP and Coast Guard officials were telling the public and media. Pilots who flew over the Deepwater Horizon site told me that the area looked like Dante’s Inferno. Oil industry insiders were telling me that well was expected to be yield millions of gallons and there was now way it was only leaking 42,000 gallons a day.

At a press conference on April 25, a New Orleans reporter asked BP officials whether the leak could produce a spill on par with the Exxon Valdez disaster. Doug Suttles, an engineer and BP’s chief operating officer for exploration and production, told him it could not. Later when independent experts challenged the numbers, BP blamed the Coast Guard for saying it was only 1,000 barrels a day—-even though BP was who gave the CG the figures.

The U.S. Department of Justice has begun an investigation into this cover up.

Huffington Post reports:

According to federal officials, BP was solely responsible for producing the very first spill estimate of 1,000 barrels per day, a figure which led to a sense of complacency about the seriousness of the event among some federal and state responders at the outset of the disaster, the presidential commission on the oil spill concluded in January 2011. BP has never publicly acknowledged generating this figure and even the commission’s investigators could not determine the methodology used to produce it.

Read more.