Allen said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that BP was asked to develop a new strategy as quickly as possible due to calculations that showed a higher volume of oil flowing from the stricken well.
"We were concerned because if you look at the new flow rate numbers and the amount of oil that is going to be potentially out there at risk, we wanted them to give us a faster plan with greater redundancy and greater reliability as we move forward," Allen said. "We hope to get an answer on that later on today."
Allen said the estimated flow rates had been calculated by the federal government rather than BP and that the estimates were not set in stone. He said the only way to accurately measure how much oil was escaping would be to completely cap the well, which might not happen until the completion of a relief well in August.
In the meantime, Allen said new sensors were being planted on the seabed to help narrow down the flow rate. "We think somewhere around probably the mid 30 (30,000 barrels per day) range is what we're looking at," he said. "But on the high end, there is a possibility it could be 40."