BP's Deepwater Horizon disaster took a major turn toward one of the many worst-case scenarios today. BP took off the containment cap that had been capturing up to 25,000 barrels of oil a day, after a robotic submarine smashed into one of its vents.
But an internal BP memo posted by Pro Publica showed the company said the spill could be as large as 100,000 barrels a day if every containment measure failed.
"If BOP and wellhead are removed and if we have incorrectly modeled the restrictions -- the rate rate could be as high as ~ 100,000 barrels per day up the case or 55,000 barrels per day up the annulus (low probability worse cases)," the undated memo reads.
UPDATE: Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen says one of the tankers is still collecting oil at a rate of 10,000 barrels a day. Ten thousand barrels of what total? Dunno.
DOUBLE UPDATE: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has a BP document that shows 162,000 barrels a day as the worst-case flow.
After the jump, Josh Nelson updates the chart of spill estimates way better than we did: