When does 5000 barrels of recovered oil per day suddenly become 2000?
In the ongoing and very strange mathematical world of BP's media team. Where oil spill numbers vary depending on the apparent whims of BP's other team in charge of America's Chernobyl, their legal team.
To follow this convoluted story we have been slavishly attached to ongoing BP media coverage from 1115.org and Sarabeth Guthberg who is on top of BP's spin machine.
Are the actual numbers important?
Yes they are. To effectively understand the ecological fall out of this disaster you first need to know how much oil has been spilled. BP, NOAA and the Coast Guard do not seem to share that basic tenet and still insist the flow rate is "officially" 5000 barrels a day.
Although 27 days into the disaster and responding to a wave of pressure NOAA has initiated the National Incident Command's Flow Rate Technical Group.
"The National Incident Command's Flow Rate Technical Group (FRTG) is designed to support the response and inform the public by providing scientifically validated information about the amount of oil flowing from BP's leaking oil well while ensuring the vital efforts to cap the leak are not impeded."
Live video of the ongoing spill at 5000 feet can be found here.
Read Sarabeths report here and synopsis from Mother Jones.