Executives from BP PLC tell members of a congressional committee that in the worst-case scenario a leaking well could spew up to 60,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
The well has been leaking about 5,000 barrels a day — or 210,000 gallons — into the Gulf since an explosion April 20 on an offshore drilling rig.
Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., says industry officials told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the worst-case scenario is 60,000 barrels a day, or 2.5 million gallons.
He says committee members were told a more likely scenario if the leak gets worse is 40,000 barrels, or 1.7 million gallons.
In an exploration plan filed with the government in February 2009, BP said it had the capability to handle a "worst-case scenario" it described as a leak of 162,000 barrels per day from an uncontrolled blowout.
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