US Revises Estimate For The BP Oil Spill Higher For Third Time, Now At 35,000-60,000 Per Day As BP Cries Foul Over Counterparty Exposure

Tyler Durden's picture

The US government has revised its estimate for the daily oil spill for the third time, now decidedly higher than the last iteration which was at 25,000-40,000 barrels per day. The latest estimate puts the high end another 50% higher, at 60,000 barrels. If this is indeed the case, it means that the amount of oil already having leaked could be as high a 3 million barrels, or 12 times the amount spilled in the Exxon Valdez. Whether this means that the previous estimate of a total possible BP liability and other payments of $80 billion have to be adjusted higher once again, is still unknown. We hope the president's speech at 8pm will provide some more clarity on whether or not today's BP CDS Spread around 500 is justified.

In other news, and as we discussed previously, the topic of BP counterparty risk is now approaching critical mass. In an exlcusive article, Reuters has reported that "Bank of America Merrill Lynch has ordered its traders not to enter into oil trades with BP Plc. that extend beyond June 2011." In other words, BofA is limiting the duration of all derivatives to one year. It also likely means that any on the run 5 year swaps have to be immediately unwound. And one can be certain BofA is not the only one doing this.

The order to the bank's traders came from a high-level executive and was made Monday, according to a source familiar with it. It told traders not to engage in trade with BP for contracts beyond one year from this month.

The directive didn't state a reason for the limit on longer-duration trades with the oil company, which comes as the British oil giant scrambles to stop an oil spill in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico for which it could eventually face billions of dollars in economic liabilities.


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EdwardTeach's picture

Go long Corexit... Cha--ching!!

ratava's picture

what is the cancer most likely to be caused by it? lung, skin, glands? i would long that.

Rainman's picture

Nowhere have I seen an estimate of how many barrels remain in this particular well. Anyone know ??

I shudder to think we will have to drain the entire underground inventory to stop it.

cossack55's picture

It seems Anadarko estimated 2 - 2.5 Billion.

Hansel's picture

found via naked capitalism,

"According to BP data from about five years ago, there are four separate reservoirs containing a total of 2.5 billion barrels (barrels not gallons). One of the reservoirs has 1.5 billion barrels. I saw an earlier post here quoting an Anadarko Petroleum report which set the total amount at 2.3 billion barrels. One New York Times article put it at 2 billion barrels."

There are probably better sources, but you get what you pay for.

breezer1's picture

one theory says 30 years to empty. how many years to fill the oceans? how many hurricanes to wipe out life on the east coast? bp should have been taken over and the executives arrested weeks ago. there is no one running the country.

baserunr's picture

And what special talents will the government bring with their takeover?  The ability to stop the pre-planned burn off of surface oil?  The skill to not maintain on-hand or deploy the planned control booms?  The talent to prohibit interim barriers from being constructed until they complete "reviews"? The shortsightedness to stop (or not accept) expertise from outside the country venturing in to assist in clean up and control operations?  Be careful what you wish for.  The Feds lack of preparation and slow-footed response has made things worse than they otherwise would be.  BP will likely suffer the corporate death penalty, as perhaps it should.  But the government taking over all operations, when they cannot even manage those items they are assigned to manage, is a recipie for enhanced disaster.

Kurtieboy's picture

The last thing we need is the govn't looking after this mess and the last thing the govn't wants is for BP to go bankrupt. Than they are on the hook for the liabilities.

Insert witty title's picture

Haliburton and Transocean next?


Bhopal much dick cheese?

tahoebumsmith's picture

Gulf Oil Spill ‘Could Go Years’ If Not Dealt With
author of Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order
by F. William Engdahl

June 10, 2010

"Senior  researchers tell us that the BP drilling hit one of the oil migration channels and that the leakage could continue for years unless decisive steps are undertaken, something that seems far from the present strategy". "When the Army Corps of Engineers first attempted to obtain NASA imagery of the Gulf oil slick, which is larger than is being reported by the media, it was reportedly denied the access. By chance, National Geographic managed to obtain satellite imagery shots of the extent of the disaster and posted them on their web site. Other satellite imagery reportedly being withheld by the Obama administration, shows that what lies under the gaping chasm spewing oil at an ever-alarming rate is a cavern estimated to be the size of Mount Everest. This information has been given an almost national security-level classification to keep it from the public, according to Madsen’s sources".

Full story here

Popo's picture

The subsurface strata is pourous not cavernous.  The whole "cavern the size of mount everest" thing seems to have caught on, but it's an entirely inaccurate depiction.

That having been said, we're still fucked.

gasmiinder's picture

Reports at the time of the initial blowout were that BP was planning a press release touting 100 - 150 million barrels recoverable.  Billion barrel numbers are ridiculous - anyone touting that can be immediately written off as not having a clue.  Ditto for anyone claiming they "found one of the oil migration channels".  Total clueless comment.  Everything tried to date was an attempt to mitigate.  Relief wells are the standard protocol to regain control in this situation and they will work (99% likelihood).  However the key question is WHEN they will work and that will depend on how many attempts to intersect the borehole are required plus weather related issues (hurricanes will require moving off location).

ZerOhead's picture

+1,000 for smarts!

Yup... ain't gonna see that coming out of even one helluva giant hole... same for migration channels... there is only one channel and that is the well bore.

I like your sense of optimism on the relief wells working... those who know way more than I have considerable doubts. If the well holds together the chances are good (it's just a matter of time to reduced flows from reservoir pressure drops or successful relief well interception)

If not and we see more oil emerging from the sea floor like we currently are?

We are screwed.

ydderf1950's picture

a lotta wierd shit going on around the world but this gom thing scares the fucking shit out of me.

tahoebumsmith's picture

I saved your comment so that in a few months I can re-post it and remind you of how stupid I am.

Hansel's picture

You're nuts if you think the relief wells have a 99% chance of stopping the leak, and there is no standard protocol for deep water disasters.

TheGoodDoctor's picture

And Simmons says in other story that a well head must be in place. He says none have been done without a well head. He says the velocity of the oil will tear the well head out eventually.

Village Idiot's picture

Anyone hear Simmons mention that "other hole" miles away from the riser?  That bit about the riser just being a sideshow is what caught my attention.

gasmiinder's picture

99% figure is from industry analysts private communication.  The standard protocol reference was to any serious lost well control issue.  Relief wells are not new or untested technology.  They work.  Simmons comments have reached ludicrous levels - and I can assure you that the relief wells have wellheads, it's not possible to drill without them.  When not if is the issue on the relief wells.  Erosion of the existing pipe/wellhead at these huge flow rates IS a valid concern but that will not affect the ability to kill the well downhole - and these flow rates are likely also damaging the reservoir with a result that flow rates slow naturally eventually.  Bottom line is these "Armageddon" pronouncements are ludicrous.  It is always enlightening when a news story occurs where you have some modicum of expertise - you quickly realize that "journalists" and commenters are quite happy to pretend a level of understanding far beyond what they actually possess.

tahoebumsmith's picture

Gasmiinder, Here is your own quote, "Reports at the time of the initial blowout were that BP was planning a press release touting 100 - 150 million barrels recoverable. Billion barrel numbers are ridiculous - anyone touting that can be immediately written off as not having a clue." Quote..

Now i'm not a science rocket but lets try a little math... Estimates say the leak is now 60,000 barrels a day...60,000 barrels a day x 58 days leaked = 3,480,000 barrels total leaked. Based on your theory the well should have dried up 32 days ago!

Gully Foyle's picture

Remember people oil and water just don't mix. Or is it people don't mix with oil in water?

I get so confused.

But it's still safe to eat the seafood and vacation.

I love my government.

cossack55's picture

If we were to dump about 12 million barrels of vinegar in the GoM, and add some pepper and italian spices, we could bottle it and make a killing.

ZerOhead's picture


When life gives you lemons... :)

Kali's picture

Don't worry, it will be on its way to Iceland soon, you wont have to come down here to do that.

BlackBeard's picture

I wanna start an over under on the spill reports eventually being greater that 100K barrels per day.

Initial odds:

100K and over: +110

Under 100K: -120

any suggestions? I mean, we are all gambooooooolers now aren't we?

Cistercian's picture

 You can count on the GOM changing.

 No more gulf shrimp for the foreseeable future either.I will miss it.


geminiRX's picture

If beach houses on the gulf side of Florida go to 20 cents on the dollar - I am a buyer 

Steaming_Wookie_Doo's picture

Dunno. Those fumes coming off the water will get ya pretty high after a while. The houses won't be worth 20 cents at that point.

Do we have an over/under on when Barky plans to do anything substantive? I'm thinking about 3 months after it's too late there will be a study group tentatively formed with a 2 year timeline to report.

kaiten's picture

With this pace of updates, we´ll be soon at 100 000 barrels per day.

J K's picture

3 million barrels - that's just a little less than was lost at sea in World War II when German U-Boats torpedoed 16 tankers in the Gulf of Mexico and 23 more along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard. 

geminiRX's picture

This is what a geologist told me too. It helps to keep things in perspective. A lot of emotion in this story

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Sorry but it's not a fair comparison. All those torpedoed tankers didn't have every single tank compartment blown open and drained. And all these tankers didn't all go down in the same place. And these tankers went down in two oceans, not one Gulf. I could go on but you understand that the comparison isn't even apples and oranges.

geminiRX's picture

The oil spill into the strait near Kuwait was the largest oil spill in world history. Life is pretty much the same there now as long as you aren't running from depleted uranium rounds

ZerOhead's picture

Correct... there never was a lot of life springing forth from the desert sands...

almost_have_a_name's picture

But that was fuel oil, aviation fuel and kerosene, not crude. Big difference...



J K's picture

About half the lost oil was indeed raw crude, and lot's more was bunker fuel - just slightly lighter than crude. And no one cleaned it up. Booms, dispersants - those didn't exist.

Screwloose's picture

So this well is going to set the record for the most productive Gulf well ever - by far - despite still having the drill and lots of broken bits of cement/casing still stuck in it?

A record-breaking Gulf well is/was 15,000 barrels a day.  This ones output is being "estimated" from all the emulsified slop floating about on the surface - not a notably accurate form of measurement with nothing previous for comparison.

BP is being deliberately set up for a takeover.

ZeroPower's picture

I hear ya, but im assuming an uncontrolled and broken well leaks a lot more than it would under normal, safe circumstances.

MsCreant's picture

I should not have laughed that hard...

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The completed production well flow has to do with pressure differential, field size and depth, field porosity and so on. You never ever open the tap full on a well if you want the well to produce as much as it can for as long as it can. In fact, opening the well fully up for a long enough time (depending on the field, this could be months to a few years) actually damages the field and lowers the total recoverable oil/gas, sometimes by 50% or more.

So your comparison of shallow GOM wells with lower pressure and lower porosity that are not turned full on and what's going on with BP is a non starter. The other deep sea wells were expected to produce 30k to 60k in this same field and in adjacent fields under production circumstances, not wide open. Spend a few days learning the subject rather than reading a 10 paragraph CNN article.

ZerOhead's picture

We are becoming such great learners here CD...

Say when is Chapter 5 going to be released if you don't mind me asking?

Friday evening would be good for me... and as a bonus you will get mucho posts from the intensive weekend exposure!

(Although you are doing quite nicely in the post count department already my friend!)

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I'm shooting for Friday for chapter 5, but no promises.

And chapter 4 just passed 29,000 reads, a near record for contributors as far as I can tell. Though Tyler and Marla have put up a few that have gone to 45,000 or more. I suspect this is because my series has been re-posted on dozens of web sites. People are interested to read my series to see if their neighbor is insane. Of course they aren't, just the neighbor. :>)

ZerOhead's picture

You my friend are making an impact!

Good on you.