- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 15, 2010

NEW ORLEANS | Scientists provided a new estimate for the size of the Gulf oil spill on Tuesday that indicate it could be worse than previously thought.

A government panel of scientists said that the ruptured well is leaking between 1.47 million and 2.52 million gallons a day of oil. That is an increase over previous estimates that put the maximum size of the spill at 2.1 million gallons per day.

“This estimate brings together several scientific methodologies and the latest information from the sea floor, and represents a significant step forward in our effort to put a number on the oil that is escaping from BP’s well,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement.

The new numbers are based on a combination of scientific data, including an analysis of high-resolution video taken by underwater robots, pressure meters, sonar, and measurements of oil collected by the containment device on top of the well.