Gulf oil leak slashed in half, but half of what?

Last time we checked in with BP's ongoing efforts to stop the terrible leak 5,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, the company was taking a pair of industrial sheers to some tubes, and lowering a "cap" into place. Turns out it worked pretty well, allowing BP to recover about 10,000 barrels a day from the oil gushing into the Gulf.

That sounds good, but is it a lot? Depends. It could be half, depending on the severity of the leak, which up until now has only been estimated. The government says it's in the ballpark of 20,000 barrels a day, which would make it half — or, hey, BP could claim that it's magically double, as the company was so set on "5,000 barrels a day" as its go-to figure.

The cap was initially able to capture around 6,000 barrels daily when it was put into place last week, and could be made to suck up as much as 15,000 barrels a day, which it funnels up to a vessel — the drillship Discoverer Enterprise.

Via PhysOrg