By Ben Raines
May 19, 2010, 5:00AM
Response Plan . . . not required"
Read excerpts from the Initial Exploration Plan for the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.
In its 2009 exploration plan for the Deepwater Horizon well, BP PLC states that the company could handle a spill involving as much as 12.6 million gallons of oil per day, a number 60 times higher than its current estimate of the ongoing Gulf disaster.
In associated documents filed with the U.S. Minerals Management Service, the company says that it would be able to skim 17.6 million gallons of oil a day from the Gulf in the event of a spill.
As of Tuesday, BP reported recovering 6 million gallons of oily water since the ongoing spill began four weeks ago. BP spokesman Tom Mueller said that only about 10 percent of the skimmed liquid was oil, which would amount to about 600,000 gallons of oil collected thus far.
Mueller also said via e-mail Tuesday that "the spill has stayed about the same size or even shrunk on the water as a result of our response efforts."
To keep track of the Gulf of Mexico oil slick, visit www.skytruth.org or follow its Twitter feed.
To see updated projection maps related to the oil spill in the Gulf, visit the Deepwater Horizon Response Web site established by government officials.