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With each look at oil flow, the numbers get worse

Jun 11, 2010 7:00:00 AM - thestate.com
With each new look by scientists, the oil spill just keeps looking worse.

New figures for the blown-out well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico show the amount of oil spewing may have been up to twice as much as previously thought, according to scientists consulting with the federal government.

That could mean 42 million gallons to more than 100 million gallons of oil have already fouled the Gulf's fragile waters, affecting people who live, work and play along the coast from Louisiana to Florida - and perhaps beyond.

It is the third - and perhaps not the last - time the U.S. government has had to increase its estimate of how much oil is gushing. Trying to clarify what has been a contentious and confusing issue, officials on Thursday gave a wide variety of estimates.

All the new spill estimates are worse than earlier ones - and far more costly for BP, which has seen its stock sink since the April 20 explosion that killed 11 workers and triggered the spill. Most of Thursday's estimates had more oil flowing in an hour than what officials once said was spilling in an entire day.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)