WASHINGTON, May 20 (UPI) -- U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Thursday the federal government will come up with its own determination of how much oil is gushing in the gulf.
Questions have arisen about the reliability of the 5,000-barrels-per-day figure BP has provided since the April 20 explosion destroyed the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers. Others have hazarded guesses the flow could actually be many times greater.
"The best estimates are, at this point, that there is 5,000 barrels a day (leak)," he said, noting the difficulty of accurately measuring the flow a mile below the surface. "But there will be and has been under way an independent review by NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the USGS (the U.S. Geological Survey) and other agencies looking for satellite imagery and looking through a whole number of other efforts to come up with the number.
"So the United States doesn't have anything to hide here. We will have a number that is true and accurate. We need that because we need to go after BP relative to the natural resource damages. But we also need to make sure that the American people know the complete story of how much oil has spilled."
Salazar also told CNN "our hope is what they call the dynamic kill of this well will happen on Sunday and that it will be killed."
"That will be an effort to essentially kill the well through the insertion of mud," Salazar said.
In another interview on NBC, Salazar twice deflected direct questions about whether he accepts responsibility, to some degree, for the oil spill disaster. He cited BP, Transocean, Halliburton and other corporations involved in the drilling operation, then referred to the unprecedented nature of the incident.
"You know, it's a shared responsibility," Salazar said. "Lots of things went wrong. There were multiple redundancies and fail-safe systems that were supposed to be in place that didn't work."
He referred to the presidential investigation under way and added, "We'll have the answers."