The federal task force stated 4.9 million barrels of oil flowed into the Gulf of Mexico from BP's oil spew. Hindsight shows the Unified Area Command consistently behind the curve in well flow estimation.
National Incident Commander Thad Allen said in early July:
"Once we get this well bore completely sealed and producing, we'll have better empirical data by which to establish and refine our flow rate going forward."
While the well bore was sealed, it never produced. As leaders review the quality of their work, I offer the following picture for Admiral Allen.
April 20 - Deepwater Horizon blowout
April 23 - No apparent leak
April 26- 1,000 barrels per day (bpd)
April 29 - 5,000 bpd
May 27 - 12,000 - 19,000 bpd
June 10 - 25,000 - 30,000 bpd, with it possibly 40,000 bpd
June 15- 35,000 - 60,000 bpd
August 2- 57,000 bpd from April 20 to July 15
The government was far more wrong than right in estimating the oil spill. Oddly, it ended close to Tony Hayward's top estimate, given in early May. How might politicians continue supporting BP?