AFP: BP fought off two U.S. demands on oil clean-up

Despite high-profile concessions to the White House over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP successfully pushed back against two key potentially costly U.S. demands.

BP refused to give the White House a blank check for paying for the cleanup and instead brushed off U.S. demands to pay to restore the Gulf region, which was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, to its condition before the oil began gushing in April.

BP also agreed to pay only $100 million for laid-off oil workers even though industry experts calculate rig workers are losing as much as $300 million a month. BP argued the six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling off U.S. shores was a policy decision for which BP was not liable.

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NYT: Estimates of Oil Flow Jump Higher

A government panel released Tuesday yet another estimate of the volume of oil spewing into the Gulf, finding that there may be as much as 60,000 barrels a day.

The new estimate is far above the figure of 5,000 barrels a day that the government and BP clung to for weeks after the spill started. Scientists on Tuesday estimated that the flow rate ranged from 35,000 to 60,000 barrels a day – up from the rate they issued last week, of 25,000 to 30,000.

60,000 barrels a day is roughly 2.5 million gallons and it means an amount equal to the Exxon Valdez spill could be gushing from the well about every four days.

With BP capturing roughly 15,000 barrels a day, the new estimate suggests that as much as 45,000 barrels a day is escaping into the gulf. Although, BP expects to be able to capture 40,000 barrels a day by the end of June and 60,000 by mid-July.

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