Coast Guard warned large leak possible from well

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Associated Press

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 9:32 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Newly disclosed Coast Guard documents warned that 336,000 gallons per day of oil could spew into the Gulf of Mexico if an underwater well had a complete blowout.

Coast Guard logs show the prediction came a day after a rig exploded on April 20, triggering the worst oil spill in the nation's history from that well.

The well didn't have such a failure. But the volume turned out to be much closer to that figure than the 42,000 gallons per day that BP first estimated. Weeks later that was revised to 210,000 gallons.

Now, an estimated 500,000 to 1 million gallons of crude is believed to be leaking daily.

The Center for Public Integrity initially reported the Coast Guard logs. It says it obtained them from a ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

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