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BP Said in 2008 It Could Handle Oil Spill 10 Times the Size of Gulf Spill

BP Said in 2008 It Could Handle Oil Spill 10 Times the Size of Gulf Spill

A frame grab of the live video stream of operations to stop the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

New York Daily News via YellowBrix

June 01, 2010

Add fuzzy math to the list of problems plaguing BP.

The British oil giant promised a government agency in 2008 that it could handle an oil spill 10 times the size of the disaster currently wreaking havoc in the Gulf of Mexico, according to documents.

In BP’s worst-case scenario presented to the Minerals Management Service, it listed a well roughly 60 miles from the current gusher that could spew 250,000 barrels of oil a day if it exploded, Bloomberg reports.

“BP has obviously overpromised and underdelivered,” Bob Deans of the Natural Resources Defense Council said. “They told us they had a plan that could deal with the consequences of a worst-case scenario. They don’t.”

The BP plan submitted to the government two years ago said in the event of a spill, they could “help to limit environmental and ecological damage to sensitive areas.”

Try telling that to the oil-soaked wildlife along the Gulf Coast.

The April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 workers and sparked a massive underwater spill that has leaked between 19 million and 43 million gallons of oil into the Gulf, according to government estimates.

“Clearly we do have an oil-spill response plan in place,” BP spokesman David Nicholas told Bloomberg.

On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will meet with state and federal prosecutors to possibly seek charges against BP.

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