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Video by Kathryn STAPLEY


Latest update : 2010-06-11

President Barack Obama and senior administration officials will meet BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg on June 16 amid mounting public anger over the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico from one of the company's wells.

AFP - BP's chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg has been summoned to a meeting with President Barack Obama next Wednesday to answer questions about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, an official letter said.

Svanberg, a Swede, was invited to the meeting on June 16 with other company officials, but the White House did not demand to see BP CEO Tony Hayward, who Obama has said he would fire, if he could, over flippant comments.

"The BP Deepwater Horizon spill is the largest environmental disaster in our nation's history," said the letter to Svanberg from Thad Allen, a Coast Guard admiral who is leading the US government's response to the crisis.

"The potential devastation to the Gulf Coast, its economy, and its people require relentless efforts to stop the leak and contain the damage," it said.

Allen pointed out that BP was financially responsible for all costs associated with the response to the disaster, including efforts to plug a  ruptured undersea well and protecting the coastline from a massive oil slick.

"As part of our ongoing communication, I request that you and any appropriate officials from BP, meet with senior administration officials on Wednesday, June 16, 2010 to discuss these timely issues," the letter said.

"Our administration is not going to rest or be satisfied until the leak is stopped at the source, the oil in the Gulf is contained and cleaned up, and the people of the Gulf are able to go back to their lives and their livelihoods."

US more than doubles oil leak estimate

A US official said Thursday that as much as 40,000-plus barrels of oil per day were pouring from BP's ruptured well into the Gulf of Mexico before the latest containment device was fitted, more than doubling the previous government estimate.

"Overhead, you suddenly grasp the enormity of the cleanup task"

"The lowest estimate that we're seeing that the scientists think is credible is probably about 20,000 barrels, and the highest that we're seeing is probably a little over 40,000," Marcia NcNutt, director of the US Geological Survey and chair of a US-government-led flow rate assessment team, told reporters.

The figures -- which estimate the flow rate prior to BP cutting a busted riser pipe June 3 in order to attach a containment device -- are more than double the previous estimate of 12,000 to 19,000 barrels per day.

"Our scientific analysis is still a work in progress," McNutt said.

US Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who is overseeing response to the worst oil spill in American history, said the device had captured 15,800 barrels in the 24 hours ending midnight Wednesday.

This means a minimum of 4,200 barrels, and possibly up to 25,000 barrels, or more than one million gallons, are still spewing into the sea each day.

Date created : 2010-06-11


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