BP chief says oil leak impact 'very modest'

18th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

British energy group BP said Tuesday the Gulf of Mexico leak will have only a "very modest" environmental impact, adding that its engineers are siphoning up twice as much oil as previously thought.

A tube inserted into the gushing leak "is estimated to be collecting and carrying about 2,000 barrels a day," said a BP statement. On Monday it had said 1,000 barrels a day, or 20 percent of the flow, was being retrieved.

BP chief executive Tony Hayward told Sky News television: "I think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to have been very, very modest.

"It is impossible to say and we will mount, as part of the aftermath, a very detailed environmental assessment. But everything we can see at the moment suggests that the overall environmental impact will be very, very modest."

An estimated 5,000 barrels, or 210,000 gallons, of oil have spewed into the Gulf every day over nearly a month since BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and sank, dragging the oil group into an environmental nightmare.

© 2010 AFP

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