Under pressure from the House and Senate, BP releases never-before seen high-resolution video of oil leaking from the damaged wellhead.
It took a month before BP finally released a live video feed of the oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead a mile below the surface of the sea on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. And even then, they only did so after coming under heavy criticism and pressure from the United States Government to release them. Now it turns out that those grainy videos that were so hard to get from BP in the first place are nowhere near the best they have.
That's right, there is high resolution video of the oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead and only now, 50 days after the initial explosion, are we learning that such video even exists. (See video below)
The latest estimates on the amount of oil still leaking from the broken Deepwater Horizon wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico put the flow rate at a minimum of between 12,000 and 25,000 barrels per day. But scientists that convened the federal Flow Rate Technical Group have complained about the quality of video used to determine those numbers, saying the rate could be significantly higher. Now that BP has released (some) of that video, those estimates will likely climb. Again.
"We need to know the amount of total oil flowing from the well to determine the efficacy of the temporary cap solution and to know the size and extent of the needed spill response," wrote Rep. Ed. Markey (D-Mass) in a letter to BP. "Any efforts on your part to prevent experts from determining the size of this spill is are unacceptable."
A similar tone was struck by members of the Senate who also fired off a letter demanding BP release the video.
"BP must not hinder the investigation of this matter by making available only preselected data and/or video for review as we understand has generally been the case to date," wrote U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer, D-California, and Bill Nelson, D-Florida in their letter to BP.
BP has been heavily criticized for, among other things, underestimating the size of the oil leak all along and calling into question any flow rate estimates that were not their own. But now that they are producing 10,000 barrels per day of oil from the temporary cap solution, it is clear their previous estimates were in fact well short of actuality. The question is whether they have been purposefully obfuscating or withholding measurement data and/or video feeds to protect the company when it comes time to paying legal restitution and fines.