Monday, November 29, 1999

BP head says exact size of Gulf oil leak unknown

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BP's Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg said in an interview broadcast today that the exact size of the oil leak from the company's well in the Gulf of Mexico is unknown.In an exclusive interview with Swedish Television, Svanberg said estimates were hard to determine exactly."What we have are these videos, and we have satellite pictures to look at to see how the oil spill develops. And from that you make an evaluation, and of course no one can say exactly how much is leaking out."Svanberg, who is Swedish, declined to speculate on whether current estimates might be doubled. "I'm not an expert," he said.He said he was confident the leak would be stopped in August. "Most analysts probably agree that we will stop it by the end of the summer," he said. "And even if it may take some time at the end, we sill be able to stop the leak."BP yesterday agreed to pay USD 20 billion into a compensation fund for victims of the oil spill, triggered by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April.Newly disclosed documents obtained by the AP show that after the Deepwater Horizon sank, BP made a worst-case estimate of 2.5 million gallons a day flowing into the Gulf of Mexico.

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