In a new video explaining the "top kill" strategy, BP senior vice president Kent Wells shows this graphic for the amount of oil being captured from the Deepwater Horizon by the suction tube. Wells says that BP has been tweaking the tube to "maximize" the collection of oil from the gushing well.
"There's been a lot of questions around how much oil is being collected," Well says at around 4:11, pointing to the graph. But if you look closely at the chart -- bigger version here -- those green bars go up because the tube has been in place since May 16. The longer it stays, the more gallons it collects. It's not necessarily collecting more oil on successive days, let alone "most" of the oil as Wells says they're trying to do.
Wells mentions some of the technical adjustments to the siphon, then says, "Here you can see how we've continued to ramp up." If only that were so.
From commenter Brandon Green: "Wow, if you look at the tapering off in the last few bars, it would seem the graph proves the exact opposite point they are trying to use it to make - that they are somehow managing to become LESS efficient at collecting the oil.
"Here's a thought - They should take this graph and all others like it, and block the oil leak with them."